The sun is bright this afternoon. Its fiery, yellow rays bearing down, heating the sand and the small rocks I gather in the clearings and on the hills. They are hot to touch, luring me on a mission. I can feel the heat on the bottom of my feet as I walk across the gravel littered hills barefoot. These little stones are my toys and they are wonderfully made, some smooth, some roughened up by the centennial years. I have never forgotten the brilliant glitters of cracked gravel that shine like diamond dust that has been poured into them, or finding colored stones as well as the occasional finding of petrified sea shells solidifying that even this sandy part of the earth was once covered with water, and that maybe these tiny colored rocks were strung along a seabed and sat there waiting for a wave to carry them out. (One of those old shells is in my side table drawer, I have had it for many years). They say the deep crevices and ravines within the canyons may have been made by glacier movement in shallow water, carving out the huge earth displacements we pay to see. I have several piles of small pebbles and rocks, separated into like colors of blue, brown to red and gray. I continue on my quest, walking along the plowed furrow and clearing, studying carefully which pebble or rock to put in my pocket. When I return with a new supply of pebbles, I begin to separate these into already designated piles as well. The light blue ones are the hardest to find, the blue turquoise color reminds me of looking into the sky, seeing their occasional streaks of white, signifying the stratification of the clouds within. I have red pebbles that range from burgundy to pink, yellow ones that are almost gold, and white ones that are ever present. When mixed together, the little stones remind me of the freshly plowed ground and the many beautiful sunrises and sunsets I’ve witnessed on this farm. The colors of the morning and evening sun incorporates the assorted colors I hold in my hand. Dare to forget the pile of plain, old gravel pebbles that somehow signify strength. The strength needed to hold up the heaviness of earth so that you and I may enjoy the beauty of it. Wearing only shorts, no shirt and obviously no shoes, my skin is dark brown from the rays of the sun. My hair is almost white from the continued bleaching of the sun. All of us were tow-heads when we were kids. Outside was where we played and found our activities. This is where we made life changing discoveries when moving rocks, digging in the dirt and finding earth worms, rolly pollys and other creatures mom wouldn’t let us bring in the house. As I remember all these colored pebbles and the places they were found, it makes me want to find them again. After years of artwork I am having a revelation that may only be a memory tomorrow of finding those pebbles and incorporating them into a still life drawing, by outlining my work on a canvas, crushing many of the pebbles while I use Elmer’s glue to adhere it to my canvas. What a beautiful sunset the colors crushed together and variegated in their wholeness would make. I could make a memory that would last more than a lifetime for some, with the colors earth provided and I mixed and put together in a memory of a long time ago with adventures from the past.
Copyright @coffeewithcharles.blog (Charles D. Grant)