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Rock On!

Monday, 15 December 2014 00:00  by Lori R.

I love rocks. Always have. From the time I was a little girl I have been collecting or using rocks in my daily life in one way or another. When I was little I used to make a stew of rocks, grass and sticks and call it Goulish Goulash and let it bake in the sun. My brother and I used to build towers of rocks at Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville, TN. In later years he and my son would take the four-wheeler into the woods behind my house and come back with a trailer full of rocks for garden borders. At every visit my brother would covet a large boulder with a tree growing around it in my front yard and say, “Would you load that one up for me, please?” It’s not uncommon to see me digging in the yard and pocket an unusual piece. Whether it’s a simple piece of granite with an unusual stripe in my gravel driveway or a geode with magnificent, shining crystals, they are all just so interesting!

Rocks definitely have educational, practical, and aesthetic value. My favorite lesson I created for student teaching involved hands-on with rocks and fossils for second graders. For some reason children are mesmerized by rocks. Perhaps children recognize that rocks have some greater purpose than stubbing our toes or jamming the lawn mower blade!

Rocks are sold by truckload, pallets and bags at quarries and Home Depots across the country for building and landscaping. There is a saying that you are never further than three feet away from a spider. This is probably also true of rocks in one form or another!

Rocks, when called “semi-precious stones” to make them sound glamorous, are often used in the jewelry industry. Turquoise, jade, amber, onyx and quartz are some of the more commonly used stones. Rocks are also used in the art industry, at least in Tennessee! I once made a good pocketful of money selling painted river rocks at craft shows. Have you seen the “Tennessee Weather Rock” sold at tourist venues? Place the rock outside. If the rock is wet, it’s raining!

Believe it or not, rocks may have therapeutic value. Have you ever had tense muscles from stress or anxiety? Try a hot stone massage. Feeling nervous? Carry a worry stone for distraction. People sometimes carry stones to promote emotional well-being, as many stones are believed to have metaphysical or healing properties. I carried a small aventurine in my pocket and aced my state teaching license exams. Aventurine is said to stimulate creativity, intelligence, and perception. Need courage, self-confidence and energy? Grab an agate. There are six variations of tourmaline that are said to promote emotional understanding, reduce fears, panic and anxiety, heal emotional pain, and release shame and guilt.

If you don’t believe in rocks having healing powers, you can always use them symbolically. Statues are often carved from stone, including the massive Mt. Rushmore. There is a story of a tribal chief in the Darien Jungle in Panama who wanted to rid his tribe of an evil totem so he weighted it down with rocks and threw it in the river. The weight of some rocks can be symbolic of spiritual heaviness or burden. Rocks may also be used as a symbol of strength and stability. Whatever your use for rocks, it is undoubtedly true that you can’t avoid them. So you may as well rock on!

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