They call it rockhounding. I’m not sure why. Perhaps like a bloodhound sniffing out the goods. Or hound like a relentless pursue, since most rockhounders are fanatics. But I think the term rockhounding is silly. I prefer rock hunting.
There are different types of rock hunting, which I’ll get more into at another time. For now, in short, some rock hunting is like a treasure hunt. Searching, digging, hammering, smashing. Hard work. I’m more of a leisurely rockhounder. Going for a walkabout in an area known to hold hidden treasures on the surface, opposed to buried underneath. They call this “float” in the rockhounder world.
Even though the rocks are sitting atop the earth, easily spotted, they have been weathered greatly. Covered in an outer crust. Think the most severe case of eczema or psoriasis – scaly skin – but underneath that is the soft silken smooth baby skin, hidden and protected. Or like a grotesque toe nail infection. Thick and bumpy. That’s the rock. Weathered over time. Scratched, roughed about, sun bleached, mud caked, and hardened. But if you gaze through the crust and notice a hint of ruddied red, a peak of mustard yellow, or a spot of deepened green barely visible, chances are a beautiful stone lay hidden within all that callous. Sometimes there’s a chip in the stone and only that chip allows the viewer to see the potential for something greater. Some stones just strike me as different, intriguing, though nothing spectacular stands out. On occasion after cutting into or tumbling the stones, there may be disappointment. But more often than not, the stone is even more impressive than imagined.
I always think about people while hunting for stones. So often life weathers us. Being hurt, rejected, criticized, ridiculed, traumatized, betrayed. This leaves us hardened and calloused. Hiding our bright colors and beauty same as the weathering of the stone. Often though, if looked for, one can find a piece of light shining through even the most hardened person. We can acknowledge that light reaching through and address it. Watch it grow and transform as the callous fades away. Through time and patience. Tumbling rocks doesn’t happen over night and neither does the opening a person.
Appearances can be deceiving. Some of the most beautiful crystals are hidden inside bland, bumpy, grey rocks. I try to keep that in mind when interacting with people.