Treasure Stones

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More than 20 years have passed, but I can still hear the waves lapping on the shoreline, while a canopy of leaves rustles overhead.  It’s summer in Northern Wisconsin, and I am just a little girl basking in the oblivion of 85 degrees.  Cool lake water swirls around my feet and smooth sand curls around my toes.  Up and down the shore I go, searching the shallow waters for the perfect stone to add to my collection.  The blue and green ones are pretty, but just won’t do.  Red, black, and brown rocks are beautiful, too, but I’m looking for something else. White stones are different from the others and always sparkle when a speck of sun peeks through the trees.  I can’t resist the urge to pick them up and put them in my pocket.

White Stones from my favorite places. Top two: Big Portage Lake, Wisconsin. Bottom Left: Thames shoreline, London. Bottom Right: Vltava River, Prague. c.b.w. 2012

As a child I didn’t understand why I was so drawn to white stones, but after having some time to think, I believe the beauty of white stones wasn’t about how they sparkled, but rather the lessons they had to teach. For a kid who never fit in anywhere and always felt out of place, my treasure stones told me it was okay to be different.  If anything, I should dare to be myself and revel in my individuality.  I don’t match my surroundings and I never will, just like white stones lying in the sand.  Do they wallow in the dirt and wish they were something else?  No.  They always find the bright side and boldly stick out from the rest.

To this day, I keep my stones close and stay true to their wisdom.  As I travel around the world and through life, I still pick up little white rocks.  From London, Prague, Ireland, and wherever I land next, my eye will keep searching for the next treasure stone. I am older and wiser, but I am always listening for the next bit of truth.

– – –

c.b. 2012

43 thoughts on “Treasure Stones

  1. Hmmm, there you go again…makin’ me dredge up my own memories. It weren’t the stones so much but the sound they made as the waves washed up on shore when I visited as a kid my Uncle’s cottage on the western shore of Lake Erie. The millions of stones (many of them white) rolling back and forth as the waves washed on shore then receded. Good memories.

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    • I love to hear your children are finding joy in rock collecting. No matter where they go they will know how to make a memory. 🙂

      I have rocks from all over the world, buy my Wisconsin rocks will always be my favorite. 🙂

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  2. I too have collected white stones as far back as I can remember. I love the wisdom you have gained from them. Stones are special in their own way – memory holders I think. I read a delicious book about stones – a whole series of stories told in a meditative manner – and it reinforced my attraction.
    walk in beauty.

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  3. I spent my childhood summers in Wisconsin and have so many beautiful memories of the place. Your blog helped me to return to that lovely time in my life. Susanne

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  4. Yep, I’m in the rock collecting club too. Only my rocks are much bigger. I do not pick them out (always) because of thier looks, but just to have a piece of where I’ve been. I write the city, state and date on the rock. At the moment, most of them have been added to the rock landscaping around our house, but other more important ones sit on my dresser.

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    • Sometimes I worry I’m going to forget where I got my stones, (I don’t write on them), but then I decided if the memory is worth having the stone will bring it back. 🙂 So far, so good.

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  5. I was pulled to the crystal, rose quartz when I was young and the way that light passed through it in places, translucent. Thanks for your honesty in this blog. NOW, Love who you are, trust that you are on the right path, and believe that it is leading you where you need to go…

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    • It took most of my twenties to believe in who I was and trust my path. As I traverse my thirties, there is so much peace in being comfortable in my own skin. The inner critic still has her moments, but she doesn’t win anymore. 🙂

      I loved the quartz, too. If I could find them, I picked them up, too. 🙂

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  6. I’m a stone collector myself. I love to pick up stone memories form the beaches, deserts and mountains I visit. I even have several favorites I’ve collected from the bottom of the sea. 🙂

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    • I picked up a few little treasures on the ocean floor in the South Pacific. They are among my favorites and rarely do I go a day with sneaking a glance at them. 🙂

      There is something quite special about having a piece of earth from the places we’ve been, isn’t there? 🙂

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  7. I grew up in Florida and there weren’t many stones to find. The sand was too fine. My father though bought a bag of red stones, pebbles really, to decorate candle holders he’d made for our house. (My father made all the furniture in our house from sofas to candle holders.) There were left over red stones when he finished, and he gave them to me. I, being 7, loved them and put them in my purse. They filled my purse. I carried them around for many weeks.

    Then I lost my purse. We got a phone call from Red Lobster. “We think your daughter may have left her purse here.”

    “How did you guess it was hers?”

    “It was filled with red rocks.”

    Ah. Memories. I love stones. Now my son has a collection of them.

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    • My step-mom collects sea glass. She has a knack for finding it, (while I can’t spot it to save my life!).

      I’ve always thought it would be interesting to make a lamp with sea glass. Maybe fill up one of those hollow glass lamps with all those little pieces. I’ll bet they would glimmer in the light.

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  8. Nick Wilford

    The way you described the scene in the first paragraph was beautiful. I like your analogy with the white stones standing out – who would want to blend into the background anyway?

    What is it with kids and stones? I swear my little girl was collecting them and putting them in her pocket from about six months old!

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  9. reb

    The white ones always stand out from the others and yes, nothing like that sound of water …be it a babbling brook or the ocean lapping on the shore..

    I wish I’d come to that same conclusion earlier in life [the part about not fitting in]….

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    • 🙂 I miss the water – there isn’t much where I live. I do, however, keep a track on my iPod that is nothing but a recording of running water. Its very relaxing!

      Same here. My teen years would have been a lot easier with that bit of wisdom, too. 🙂

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  10. Cool post. Interesting, isn’t it, the things we find and collect, or keep for some reason, sometimes not knowing why until later? Only those interested keep their senses tuned to what might bring them a bit of Truth.

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    • So, true. Even as a kid, I wondered why I liked them so much and why I felt the need to collect so many of them. I wish I still had my big bowl from the lake, but instead I settle for the three that have survived my childhood and several moves. They still mean the world to me. 🙂

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  11. Now, you’ve made me regret that we’ve just sold the cottage that’s been in my family for three generations. If it hadn’t been for the financial burden and the fact my husband can barely walk, let alone walk through sand, we’d have kept it. As a kid, one of my favourite things to do was find special rocks along the beach. It drove Mom crazy when I’d bring home pockets full of them. I, too, like the crystalline white rocks that had a certain translucent quality that made them extra-special. My son recently cleaned up his room (a rare occasion!) and brought me a box of stones he had collected over the years. He wasn’t sure what to do with them. He didn’t have the space to keep them in his room and he didn’t want to throw them away. I suggested he place them in my rock garden. He gave me a huge grin and said, “Great idea, Mom!” I couldn’t tell him I didn’t have the heart t throw them out, either! 🙂

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    • I’m sorry you had to sell that cottage. Let’s hope the new inhabitants will find the same joy your family has known, (it’s the only thing I can think of to make something so sad a little less painful).

      You came up with a great solution for your son’s stones. Now they have new life and every time you go out to the garden, you’ll think of him. 🙂

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    • Thanks! 🙂 The last time I went to Lake Michigan (it was soooo long ago), I know I picked up some great rocks. I hope your kids will come home with many beautiful memories and some great stones to store them.

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