It’s funny, the word rocks is much harsher to me than the word stones. I don’t know why I seeded my prompt box with rocks when I prefer stones. Rocks are jagged and rough, while stones are smooth and round. Is that true or is that just the way I see them?
When I think of rocks I see dsuty gravel, grey granite shards with glints of quartz or mica, the rocks themselves planed and angular, bumpy with unclean breaks. Triangles protrude from a pile looking jagged and dangerous. Unwelcoming.
Jetties are rocks. Rocks are young. They haven’t been exposed long enough to be worn smooth by weather or water.
Stones, though. Stones are smooth and rounded. Domes of shiny grey on a Maine beach. They are welcoming. They fit in the palm of your hand and are comforting in their age and smoothness. They are old. They have clinked together on the shore for thousands of years. Each time a wave washes over them, then sucks back out to sea, they chink together as they roll with the surf, rubbing bits of each other off, grain by grain, until there are no rough edges left. Despite their hardness, despite their heaviness, they are soft to the touch — soft on the surface like fabric, like velvet or suede when you rub your thumb across their faces. Except they aren’t really soft. They are hard. Sturdy and grounding.
We have stones from Maine scattered around our house. Our daughter uses one as a doorstop. Others lay atop a book shelf in the basement. They comfort me. Pieces of earth. Unglamorous. They aren’t gemstones. They aren’t crystals. They are basic granite stones that have been worn smooth by the passage of time. By existence. Yet in their age and smoothness they are still solid. Still strong.