On my bookshelf I have a pile of stones. I have a jar with even more stones beside that pile. I have a box out in my workshop holding even more stones. All of which, found on kayaking journeys. I am a pack rat at heart, so there is little surprise that I horde pebbles and I can tell you where I found each and every one of them too. They carry energy from a kayaking trip home with me. They resonate.
I have a bunch of shells as well, but they will be left for another blog I am sure. For now, it is the humble pebble that I would like to direct your attention towards. They are everywhere! Not once have I landed my kayak and set up camp to find one, two or several stuck in the corners of my tent within a day or two. They get under, in and everywhere especially in the hollow space between my bare feet and sandal as I walk, and I must stop with each step to shake out the lumpy little bastards.
We make catwalk highways from logs and driftwood to walk upon on pebble beaches so as to avoid the discomfort. I swear, if I find one more in the bottom of my bowl, and not know how the heck it got there, I will go insane. I lift my kayak onto the car at the end of a journey and voila, the entire hull sounds like it is filled with marbles.
Why then do I collect them from the beaches on these trips if they are so troublesome a thing? Aren’t we all drawn to the things that are worst for us? I spent a lovely afternoon on Catala Island on the wild west side of Vancouver Island with my mates searching the pebbles. Our camp was made up of nothing but the little guys. Mother Nature’s gravel pit is the west side of that island and in the hot sun they warm up with the dampness trapped inches beneath. Nothing feels better than napping on sun-warmed pebbles. We collected our share that day. Mainly on the hunt for Jade, but all we came home with were just green stones, not Jade at all. No matter, we enjoyed every minute of laying face down, wading through them like sun=warmed lazy beached sea turtles.
Lying in my tent later that evening and there was pain from my left hip as I rolled over onto the pocket lumpy with stones. I pulled them out one by one, examining them individually. Deciding who makes the cut and who, who would get tossed out the vestibule of my tent, unworthy of the jar on the bookshelf.
So, for all you paddler folk out there with time on your hands when kayaking, I challenge you to a game. The next time you go paddling and stop somewhere for a break, as you sit eating your lunch lean over and find the pebble of your dreams. Pocket it. Then the next time you go out paddling, now this is the hard part. Take your beloved pebble with you and when you stop again for a break, this time drop your pebble and replace it with one better than the first. Good Luck!