When Brownie was alive we’d ride our bikes through the dry heat and down the red dirt tracks, tires popping as pebbles flew from our paths, always a hot wind harsh and unfriendly. How I hated that wind. Somehow as children though, we overcome things like this, death and heat, sometimes as adults it’s harder.
At the river we’d gather the stones that had been shaped by the water that ran forever through the valley. Its a trickle now, with the years of drought that followed. But I see it as it was, a brown green snake slithering and winding, seemingly never ending.
Once the stones had been rocks and boulders, hills or cliffs by the ocean. Something for man and animal to stand on up high, or perch, bearers to things seemingly unreachable, but now they were small and worn, carried and tumbled and rounded into submissive pebbles. All semblance of might long gone.
When we had a pile we’d skim them. Counting the bounces, seeing who could throw furthest, bounce highest. Now the stones from our hands were glorious things, slicing through the air and slicking off the water, shooting and arcing.
Alive once again.
Michael Douglass, 2009.