As a family, we always looked for rocks. We went canoeing every summer on the Gasconade and Current rivers in Missouri. A couple of times we went on cross country camping trips and explored remote areas of National Parks . My Dad hated crowds and we always took these trips off season.
Scattered throughout our house on shelves, mantles, in window sills and on wooden boxes we displayed our magnificent rocks: chunks of petrified wood, fragile trilobites, sparkling geodes split in halves, flaky pieces of mica and glassy spikes of quartz. We had a rock that looked like the baby Moses in a basket, found along the Gasconade River. We had a flat, pink one we called "the moon rock" because it had a perfect, pale circle on it's face. My Dad found it in Utah. He also lost his wedding ring in that desert and we'd always joke that had had an affair with a mysterious moon woman who gave him this rock in exchange for his ring.
I used to take rocks to show-and-tell at school and tell outrageous stories about fossilized dinosaur eggs and porous pebbles that were really miniature skulls of a very tiny people who were now extinct. When I got older, my Dad would sometimes take my boyfriends fossil hunting at an abandoned quarry in Ohio.
Here we are collecting rocks along the Eel River in the Humboldt Redwoods again. My Mom had decided to only collect rocks that would fit into her empty water bottle. We were going to give this one to my Dad's friend Chuck who has a strange psychiatric disorder that causes him to see only phallic shapes in the natural world. But it wouldn't fit into the bottle so we took a picture instead.
My Dad told me to look at this rock. So I did.