My wife and I love rocks. But not just any rocks. They need to have a certain feel to them, a way of speaking without words that stop you in your tracks until you pick them up and consider what is possible.
More often than not we agree when just the right stone is a keeper. Just how it will find its place on our property and sometimes into a cairn though is a skill that Betty Ann has honed over time and I clearly have not. It’s called patience.
And it’s clearly more than patience, too. It requires knowing and feeling out each stone and how it might balance, look and belong where it’s set.
I, on the other hand, have far more patience with capturing just the right image with my camera and then editing it down to resemble as close as possible what I see and feel in a stone or a cairn.
Did I mention that my wife likes a challenge? See below!
At least my images don’t succumb to the after effects of birds, grandchildren, garden hoses and one hairy dog that can strike without warning and “poof,” the cairn is gone!
I like to think that my wife’s gentle touch is applied Zen and the guy with the camera provides the evidence of what was. We are a team.
Not cairns, but balancing still
We have a few other stone structures, too. But one we both designed, which is my absolute favorite, with family, friends and use in mind was a cantilevered stone piece, possessing both functionality and a sense of presence all its own. With the guidance, brawn, not to mention machinery needed and skillful artistry of our stone sculptor-landscaper and above all friend Dan Cook, we made it happen. When the right pieces (we’re talking tons here) were all “nestled” into place, four grown men stood on the very end of the horizontal (seat) section, jumped up and down, and nothing at all moved. Then Dan “pinned”the various sections for safety’s sake, as a safe-guard against aging old guys on riding mowers and such. It was hard work. And it was worth it. But since we were talking about balance, Katie’s form says it better than words:
And the enjoyment and use of this not so little creation continues in summer…
…and into the fall…
Even in winter…
But then, as summer returns, the warmth and love of grandchildren adds an energy and beauty all its own…
Text and photos by K. Lee