Rocks are so diverse things. I still have memories of learning about rock types (igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic) in sixth grade. We looked at examples of each type of stone on a tray and passed them around the class to examine and feel each one.
I’ve lost quite a bit of skin from stones over the years. I have to admit that when I smashed my knee into one or scraped off a layer of skin that slipped over one while swimming, I wasn’t particularly concerned about whether a stone was sedimentary or metamorphic.
Looking for the right stone
I think rocks are pretty amazing though. When I have time, I like to return to my sixth grade and examine stones. Take into account their composition, texture, and colors. The smoothness of stones polished in lakes and oceans, the roughness of a broken rock. The sparkle of the crystals embedded in the rock and the possibility of finding a fossil in the sedimentary rock.
We recently did a road trip through northeastern Ontario as a family and one thing you will see a lot in northeastern Ontario is rock. Much of the area we cover is part of the Canadian shield. It’s one of the oldest rocks in the world – mostly igneous and metamorphic rocks if you wonder. Glaciers scraped off most of the top soil, leaving the cliff visible at the roadside, amidst towns and cities and most strikingly in the thousands of lakes and rivers that are so common in the region.
The colors of the rock as you ride the roads will change depending on the area you are in. Some are almost entirely white, many are gray, some are pink and red, and occasionally the rock is covered with rust where the iron content is high.
The right stone is magic
Sometimes, whether you look for it or not, you will find the right stone. It could be the right texture that a stone will carry in your pocket for a while. You might discover a rock with a nice color combination. Your kids may find the right stone to make a splash when thrown into the water, or maybe just the right stone to jump over the surface of the lake.
Bucket of stone
We found all of these rocks on our last trip. My children kept looking for stones to skip over (most of them were too small or too round). They collected full buckets or stones, some of which have now been waxed to make them look wet and bring out their colors. They are given as gifts to friends. The right stone for me is one that I’ve found: purple and orange, a color combination that I’ve never seen in a stone. It’s just the right size and texture to roll around in my hand as I walk along the shore of a lake or down the street.
It’s the right stone to hold all the memories of our summer road trip together.
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