Lazy days down at the beach in the warm sun. A calm ocean invites you to interrupt its surface with the touch of a smooth flat stone. The search for the perfect stone, round, with two flat smooth surfaces and a curve on it’s edge. Well weighted to keep it flat as it travels through the air, not affected by the wind, not twisting like a leaf tumbling in a gust of wind. The search is as much a part of the process as its return to the ocean. The disbelief when found, how could no one have seen this before? Was this put here just for me? Did the ocean return this just for me to find? Worn smooth and shaped as it tumbles relentlessly across the sand on the ocean floor. Or, is no one else looking? Perhaps this is only my search? Other people throw rocks into the water, other people try bounce them across the surface of the sea. Maybe that’s it, maybe they are just throwing rocks into the water and not skimming stones on the ocean.
Once found, there is the sadness. A perfect skimming stone is there to be returned to the ocean yet I want to keep it, but what good is a collection of skimming stones if not for skimming? It’s true beauty is it’s flight across the surface, touching down briefly, teasing the ocean, as if to say “not here, not yet”. Then, after its momentum is spent, being swallowed up, perhaps for an eternity. Its pleasure over so quickly, sometimes too quickly, prematurely perhaps, certainly disappointingly. However, a perfect release, a flight of potential, the multiple touches with ripples spreading out, a potential realised, a joy experienced, a hope fulfilled, that is the dream. Now a return to the search.
Stay tuned for Collecting Shells.