Monday, May 28, 2007

A Walk On The Beach

It is in my makeup to need to wiggle my toes in sand at least once per summer. I feel that if I don't have the opportunity to do that, I start to lose something vital.

Life being what it is, the chance to visit the beach doesn't always coincide with my need of it, so whenever I do manage a trip, I will bring home plenty of photos and a souvenir or two (I try to restrain myself - beach ecology is important and many insects, birds and other small creatures rely on what's there for shelter. A thoughtful sharing is all right, but strip-mining is out).

So now in my house, I have a beautiful rock as a doorstop. A piece of driftwood holds up the office window in summer and hook on the back of the bedroom door reminds me that, though I may not be able to get to it, the beach is still there, waiting for my return.

I think I'm not alone in this longing. I see beach stones in home and garden shops, some with words engraved on them like "relax" and "serene". I find these awful, and not just because of the bossy intent. I think it's the juxtaposition of the natural stone, with all its random beauty and the precise, machine-driven engraving.

I mean, I do have stones with words on them. I use them as bookends and I've hand-lettered them with the genre of books they're holding up (in the vain hope of bringing some kind of order to my ever-expanding library). But to my eye, anyway, it fits. Even my neatest printing tends toward randomness and so doesn't jar with the naturalness of the stone.

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