Our local beach at Manning Point is rough and tumble; the rips are rough and most days the tides will tumble you like a clothes dryers. That’s why it’s such a great place for rock collecting.
My very first visit there more than five years ago I was seduced by the variety of smooth stones and had to have them. I wasn’t miserly about taking a good number of the pretty rocks each time I walked on the beach, but, on the other hand, I wasn’t too grabby, mainly because they’d end up being too heavy a load.
Now, I have my own rotary rock tumbler at home and I can make the rocks look as polished and satiny as they are when I pluck them out of the surf. The tumbling process requires patience; it happens in stages and can take 4 to 6 weeks of constant tumbling.
Out on my beach walk today, I noticed the particular acquisitive kind of energy that has me want to collect the stones. It’s not unlike walking through a shopping area and window shopping. You don’t particularly notice your surroundings at the mall or look into people’s faces. You are simply captivated by what you see in any window. Buying something might be the farthest thing from your mind, but you’re looking, and there’s a very good chance you’ll get snared. It’s because you’re a little predatory.
Every now and then, I remind myself to switch gears and look at the beach vistas, the ocean expanse, feel and taste the surf, listen to the sea birds, and just generally open out my awareness to include it all. And then in a flash, a sparkle catches my eye, a glisten of jet black, or red, or quartzy yellow. Another trophy!