Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rock solid encouragement

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse
South Lubec, Maine
Needing some inspiration and encouragement right now, I am going to return to a happy time last summer. I spent a weekend with my sister, niece and her family Downeast in Lubec, Maine and on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. We stayed overnight near West Quoddy Head Light in South Lubec and trundled around the area, while I told stories of our mother who grew up there. What a treat it was to spend time in such a special place with such special people. An additional, all be it unexpected treat were the lessons I learned from my sister, a rock hound. There are a number of years which separate us in age, and one of the casualties of this gap was I wasn't aware my sister had minored in geology in college, I just knew she was a teacher. As I consider my current state of discontent with winter lasting so long and life being a daily struggle, I am going to look back on that trip and to the rocks to give me encouragement.  

Gabbro, an Igneous rock
Campobello Island, NB, Canada
First, did you know there are only three different ways rocks are created: Igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary.  Igneous rocks come from the fiery center of the earth. They are called into being from a coalescing of minerals in a molten state; born out of creative fires, which harden as they cool. Sedimentary rocks are born from the dust of the earth, built from the skeletons & shells of sea creatures, from the particles left behind from weather worn rocks; particles pressed together until they become one. And lastly, metamorphic rocks were once one thing but through heat and pressure have become a totally different being, taking on a new likeness.

Most people recognize granite, it’s an igneous rock. Almost everyone knows Limestone a common sedimentary rock, which when subjected to heat and pressure becomes marble, a well-known metamorphic rock. I love gneiss (pronounced “nice”), it is probably my favorite of all metamorphic rocks. Gneiss is formed usually from igneous rocks; I want to be a piece of gneiss. But to be a piece of gneiss, to be metamorphic, I have to be heated to the point of malleability, and undergo pressure. Oh, do I hear trials & tribulations?

Con Robinson's Point
Campobello Island, NB, Canada
Have you ever wondered why rocks are shaped the way they are? There is beach on Campobello where most of the rocks are round or egg shaped and fairly uniform in size and shape. I asked my sister, how did this happen? Once again, I was faced with trial and tribulation; for those particular rocks got their shape from being tossed in the ocean, rubbing again each other. We’ve all seen rocks with hollows in the side. The hollow was formed while the rock was in a heated state and it had another rock or other hard substance lain against it, creating an impression.
Cutler, Maine
 So here I am writing about rocks and seeing a parallel with my current life. It all comes back to heat & pressure changing me from granite into gneiss, from limestone to marble; rounding my sharp edges by rolling me around in the surf, rubbing up against other stones. Did I say I was going to a happier time?

There are many other parallels to be drawn later, but let’s end this tonight by saying I wanted some rock solid encouragement, and I got it. Heat and pressure making me into something new, something better; now if I can just survive this winter with all my minerals intake. 

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