I collect rocks.
Not on purpose.
I don’t go looking for them. But when I bend to look more closely, inevitably they end up in my pocket, or in my car.
Hunting for a specific rock is a completely different experience.
It’s almost stressful.
For Unplug’d 2012, I needed a rock that was easy to decorate, fit in the palm of my hand, and somehow represented me.
I scoured the islands of Quetico Provincial Park for just the right rock, but it remained elusive.
But then it came to me. My teacher brain was focused on the rules, not the meaning.
The rock needed to represent me, and where I am right now in my life.
Where am I now? I am emerging from a year of grieving the loss of my father.
I am spending a lot of time on the land, on the water, sorting out the teachings from my first half-century with one of the greatest outdoorsmen who ever lived.
So my rock? It is beautiful.
My rock is beautiful without any decorations.
It is stunning amethyst from where I live now, infused with the Canadian Shield where, as a child, I learned the lessons from my father.
I don’t need to write my name on it. The intersection of my adult life and my childhood life are in the shape of the letter ‘M’, the initial of the name we share.
I was proud to connect this part of me with so many other talented and passionate educators at Unplug’d 2012.
But when I left, I knew where this rock needed to rest.
Wilberforce is where my father learned from his father and from his mother.
It’s where they rest now, and where he chose to rest with them.
And while I miss them all dearly and deeply, they will continue to be my rock as I go on and continue to share the gift of learning they shared with me.
*Everybody Needs a Rock by Bird Baylor. Thank you to Kelly-Ann Power @kellypower for introducing me to this book.