Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Story About That Rock

 In the previous post, I included a picture of a rock that's out in the pasture.  It's the sort of rock that you could plop down in your zen garden, stare at it all day from different angles, different times of the day, and different times of the year while pondering the meaning of life.  It's covered in moss and has eroded from the wind and rain into interesting patterns, little pockmarks cover one side and horizontal layers show on the other side.   It has probably sat in this same position since before it became a rock.

But, if I'm walking around this pasture looking for a cow during calving season and just happen to look at it  from the right angle it looks exactly like a dead, bloated cow.  And, it continues to look like a dead cow until you get a little closer to it.  Every time it fools me, I grit my teeth and start thinking about getting the bulldozer and bulldozing the heck out of it.  

Then, I remember that it's a cool looking rock that has been out there forever and will still be out there getting more and more interesting looking for a long time after I'm long gone, and if anyone else is looking for their cattle in that pasture in the future their hearts will also skip a beat when they look at that rock from the wrong angle.  

So, that rock gets a stay of execution until the next time it fools me, when I swear at it for a while and start thinking about bulldozing it into oblivion.

All that probably has something to do with the cycle of life, the duality of man, or some other highfalutin philosophical meaning, but all I know is that that rock is both worth protecting and irritates me to no end at times.


  1. Your story of the rock reminds me of a friend I had who had a mannequin on his back porch. Every time I came striding in through the porch door I would catch sight of it through the corner of my vision and my insides would jump.

  2. There have been lots of times when I've wanted to bulldoze something around here into oblivion, so it's probably a good thing I don't have a bulldozer [yet]. :)

    That is a very cool rock. I love hiking in the woods here and discovering big boulders deep in the woods. I always wonder how many years it has been since anyone else has seen them. 10? 25? 1000?

  3. I'm always wondering that too. How long has it been since someone else stepped foot here? Down in NE Arkansas, there is a hike I like to do where I do a traverse off trail around a ridge and off the backside of a mountain. There is a rim of rock about 60 feet tall around the entire backside except for one narrow crack in the wall where dirt has eroded over the years and created a perfect natural ramp down the crack where I can just squeeze through if I take my pack off and suck in my gut. Over the years I've named that crack after my family surname. Have you ever named your rock?

  4. Every quarter section around here was homesteaded in the Land Run and had families with a bunch of kids living on each one of those homesteads up until the '40's, so I'd guess that there isn't much that hasn't already been seen by someone else.

    Although, I'm not sure if my grandfather would recognize some areas anymore if he was still alive. Compared to fifty or a hundred years ago, I'd bet that everything looks different with the trees and brush growing up, tornadoes roaring through and scrambling everything, etc.

    Plus, my grandfather and his brothers used to find arrowheads in the fields after they had been plowing, so it had probably been inhabited in one way or another for thousands of years.

    That's one of the reasons it hasn't been bulldozed, because it's probably been witness to a whole lot of human activity.

    I've never thought of naming any rocks (besides "that stupid #$%!**& rock, making me think I've got a dead cow"), there are enough rocks and ledges scattered around the farm that I couldn't keep track of all of them, and I've found that rocks tend to hold a grudge forever if you forget their names.