Rock On

Rock On

A Story by barleygirl
"

thanks to Emmajoy for encouraging me to write prose . . .

"


My place borders the Big Sur wilderness on the central California coast. I live on a bluff overlooking Piney Creek, a few miles from the Arroyo Seco river. My cabin is perched upon layers and layers of boulders, stones, pebbles, and gravel, all piled up here as our creek carved this ravine over millions of years. Rocks are the defining feature of our terrain.

Some people see a solitary old hippie like me and immediately think: “Tree Hugger!” But actually, I’m more of a “Stone Snuggler!”

Across our narrow country lane lives Boulder Boy. To tell the truth, he’s old like me and it’s amazing how he continues his energetic pursuit of rustic jewels upon arthritic knees. My neighbor comes from a long line of stone hounds, as I understand it. Generations of small-stature Italian descendants have been rearranging boulders upon the several acres next door and I picture them as industrious ants crafting the land over the decades.

Stepping through a redwood gate across the road, I enter a football-field-sized arena on the upper level that’s fully lined with numerous sturdy creations. Stone borders define natural features, such as an extensive rock wall topped by waist-high planting beds. To clear and level his parking field, huge boulders had to be winched along slowly with a come-along braced against strong surrounding oaks, until stacked into neat walls without mortar.

Crafting stone structures without mortar is a native talent possessed by only those who build in synch with the natural surroundings. Everything in this bucolic amphitheater conveys the fluid feeling of Feng Shui. Boulder Boy told me he remembers the painstaking process of rearranging every stubborn stone so thoughtfully over the years. It’s obvious he has an eye for mixing different colors, textures, and sizes into balanced quilt-like arrays.

I’m not in favor of arrogant developers rewriting the script of how a natural place should be. So often, such intrusive construction means obliterating the natural order. But my next door neighbor, the rock contractor, preserves the harmony of natural features, simply highlighting contours with a seemingly haphazard assortment of boulders and stones. A large tree planter is surrounded and accented by neatly-nestled bricks of naturally-broken shale.

When Boulder Boy goes off on his various travels for several months at a time, I am honored to be the one caring for his land. As I stand watering his young fruit trees, I discover new aspects of this patch of wilderness enhanced with integrated borders and accents. I admire the tangle of miniature ice plant spilling down rock walls, intertwined with native plants participating in the harmonic agreement between manmade and naturally-occurring details.

Piney Creek is still roaring in May after our record rainfall over the winter months, providing a relaxing soundtrack while living here. Fuzzy sage leaves squeeze up between boulders, propelling sturdy shoots of hot pink petals fluttering on the breeze, to deliver their pungent scent. There’s a massive sprawling staircase built into the bluff, providing a rock-lined pathway down to the lower creek level.

Waiting for the sprinkler to deliver fresh well water to young fruit trees, I lean against a particularly smooth boulder of sandstone splashed with homogenous mustard. I can feel the healing rock energy penetrate my sweatshirt and cool my skin. As water splashes over surrounding stones, dry mint-tinted flakes of lichen spring to life and form thick mossy mandalas decorating many surfaces. Wet darkness emphasizes veins of iron stains like bloody cuts across the faceted rocks.

For a while I gaze up toward surrounding ridges, dotted with rocky outcrops like distant soldiers guarding our secluded ravine. Where the main road was long-ago blasted into nearby hills, I admire expansive shale walls layered in tones of apricot, mustard, fawn, and ash. Movement through the oak trees belies the approach of a momma deer with twin fawns following, still sporting their youthful dots of camouflage.

My eye is drawn to look down at granite crystals sparkling in the morning sunlight. An iridescent dragonfly is dancing with sprinkler drops, trying to keep her aqua and blue wings from becoming water laden. Eventually everything is well soaked and I head back over to my own place.

There’s a bed-sized boulder lining my driveway. I lie down on the smooth flat surface for a bit, soaking in the healing coolness as warm sunlight filters through oak limbs. It takes only fifteen minutes for this healing rock to disperse the throbbing pain in my back and I’m ready for more puttering amongst the pebbles.




© 2017 barleygirl



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Featured Review

I enjoyed this story my friend.
"I’m more of a “Stone Snuggler!"
I'm a stone Snuggler too. I carry stones from five continent in my power bag. I do hug and talk to trees. I liked the places you described. I use stone for healing too. Old fashion Native American cures. Herb and rock. Thank you dear friend for sharing your words and your thoughts.
Coyote

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

5 Months Ago

Certain rocks grab my attention & when I hold them, they feel so right in my hand that I carry one a.. read more
Coyote Poetry

5 Months Ago

I found six new rock yesterday. I give to wife for her rock garden. Men and the grandchildren. Alway.. read more


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Reviews

I enjoyed this story my friend.
"I’m more of a “Stone Snuggler!"
I'm a stone Snuggler too. I carry stones from five continent in my power bag. I do hug and talk to trees. I liked the places you described. I use stone for healing too. Old fashion Native American cures. Herb and rock. Thank you dear friend for sharing your words and your thoughts.
Coyote

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

5 Months Ago

Certain rocks grab my attention & when I hold them, they feel so right in my hand that I carry one a.. read more
Coyote Poetry

5 Months Ago

I found six new rock yesterday. I give to wife for her rock garden. Men and the grandchildren. Alway.. read more
I now learn more about your unique and wonderful little corner of the world. Though some may yawn at it's lack of concrete and neon lights, it seems fabulous to me.
From Michelangelo to Boulder Boy, it seems Italians must have a particular skill with rocks. Not far from here, there's a "castle" surrounded by countless rock art, all constructed by an Italian woman war-bride brought here by her husband long ago. So it's said, she (with husband's help) built it all to remind her of Napoli.

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

5 Months Ago

Your musings are most interesting & memorable! *wink! wink!* I have to admit I love the seductive po.. read more
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BBP
Well if you are trying to make us all extremely jealous of where you live! Mission accomplished! lol

This is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful home land. You painted the central coast area perfectly and explained the majestic area every well.

Awesome write! :)

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

5 Months Ago

When I go on Facebook & see how "everyone" seems to be enjoying all these things like vacations, gra.. read more
BBP

5 Months Ago

It's a beautiful way to live, so close with nature and out of the jam packed city!

It.. read more
A wonderful description of your homestead. Makes me quite envious of the use of natural resources to build a colourful rockery. It would cost us a small fortune to buy the materials to create the same effect as your gardens.

So, it doesn't look as though I shall be hammering on the door shouting '"WILMAAAAAA... when I put our Yorkie out. (((Hugs)))

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

5 Months Ago

You're the second person to refer to the Flintstones . . . it honestly never crossed my mind during .. read more
I for one will not mention the Flintstones.
It does sound brilliant Margie.
I think you're the last of your kind.
It must be hard work though, but i would imagine, thoroughly satisfying. Stone Snuggler is now my theme for the year now. Nice to see you all look out for each other.

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

5 Months Ago

We don't have those stone-cars that are propelled with bare feet padding thru the undercarriage, tho.. read more
Paul Bell

5 Months Ago

Seems iv'e shared it twice. lol
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Vic
I like the term "Stone Snuggler". This piece had great imagery.

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

5 Months Ago

Thanks so much, as I was trying to write prose without an actual "story" . . . just observations. So.. read more

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Added on May 10, 2017
Last Updated on May 10, 2017

Author

barleygirl
barleygirl

Central Coast, CA



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Just loving life & sharing my blessings. more..

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