These are a few of the rocks that comprise my “Zen garden”. I collect rocks as a momento, pocketing my first rock when I moved to Colorado in 1977 (although my parents would tell you I’ve pocketed them all my life). I hiked my first Boulder trail in Chautauqua Park, huffing and puffing my way up into the foothills to a point high enough that I could oversee the entire town. Surely worth memorializing with a pocket rock.
I try to collect a rock from each place I travel in the US and abroad. I have rocks from Lake Superior, Paris, Tucson, Turks & Caicos, and Kranjska Gora. I have rocks my grandchildren have given me, and rocks “my troops” have sent me while they were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have a rock from the bike ride when my first sighting of a double rainbow stopped me in my tracks; from the first time I made par on a golf hole (yes, there are rocks on golf courses); and from the first time I rode Vail Pass on my bicycle.
There is a spot in my living room where I periodically rearrange my rocks, tucking some away and bringing others into the daylight. I stack and balance them carefully and mindfully in cairns. I place them by shapes and designs; by their hues of color; by the feel of their surface; and by the memories they evoke.