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Skippin' Rocks
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Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:07 AM
Joined: 1/14/2015
Posts: 40463

Originally posted by: dcpottsmd

It seems to me
that in these budgetary days of making every moment count
toward something we perceive of worth
(in some material sense),
not near enough is made of standing on some creek or riverbank
(or by a pond, perhaps),
and skippin’ rocks.

Oh, I know just what a part of you would say;
the part of me that’s dressed in widget-counting garb
and skims from task to task (barely breaking life’s surface),
and tries to keep ahead of “who’s its’ at the club”
would say the same:
what gain, what accolade could come
from standing idly on some bank
and skippin’ rocks?

In answer, let’s remind ourselves of where we came to be:
upon a rocky interface, as waters first kissed hardened shore,
and there the primal life of earth brushed over skippin’ stones
smoothed slick by ceaseless flow of tides.

No wonder, then, we’re drawn to rock-strewn shores of waters’ edge,
much as we’ve always been,
to feel again the touch of terra firma,
awakening genetic memories long buried in sediment and sand.

(What’s that you say?
Oh no, no sacrilege my statements constitute.
For I am both creationist and evolutionist,
refusing to relegate God
to boxes made with human hands.)

From our shallow contemporary existence
we need escape to waters’ edge,
to hear again that tripping shoreline melody,
to have again our souls caressed by swirling eddies,
to feel again those polished stones…

Papa showed me how to choose:
of course, the smoothest ones were valued most,
as these would glide so nearly free of friction’s grasp,
and sail the closest toward the lofty goal of farther shore.
Some weight was needed, else the slivered wisp
would catch a gust and fly downstream without a single skip.
It’s hard to underestimate the value of trajectory:
with angle too acute one skip’s the most you’d get.
with one too wide your stone
would take a first-glance dive.

From Papa’s hand, it always seemed,
the perfect rock was borne aloft in perfect path,
to send it skipping endlessly
across the skim to distant shoreline
(a goal to which I yet aspire,
and fail more ‘oft than not, I must admit).
And, with each flawless fling,
our praise and affirmation freely flowed
toward his section of the bluff.

Of late, as more and more of Papa’s life bank
crumbles, clod-like, into swiftly flowing currents,
times of skippin’ rocks are left as isles of happiness
on which to rest.
In latter days, not much brings sparkle to his gaze,
but searching, hurling, skippin’ never fails to find its goal:
to briefly touch the Farther Shore,
and there, the soul.

And little ones, seeking paternal praise,
search diligently for smoothest stones,
soliciting help at times,
and awkwardly heave pebble hints in Papa’s wake.

So, what gain, what accolade could come
from standing idly on some bank
and skippin’ rocks?

None, I guess, unless…

Some value is ascribed to
reaching back across the sands of time
to feel a texture first felt then,
to descending from mountains of materialism
toward a spot where worth is sensed with hands and hearts alone,
to viewing our lives once more through idealistic childhood eyes,
to standing near the ones we love
to laugh with them,
and praise,
and bless.
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:08 AM
Originally posted by: dcpottsmd

I am also your kind words. I am so grateful that they have given something useful of meaningful to you tonight.
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:08 AM
Originally posted by: dcpottsmd

Thank you so much for the feedback. This means a lot to me to know that my words brought back fond memories of your dad. Thanks for your response, and may God bless you and your reminscences.
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:08 AM
Originally posted by: Johanna C

From someone who has skipped stones from the northern reaches of Lake Superior to Loch Lomond in Scotland, and who now finds herself "skipping stones" in the dementia altered life of my mother, I find myself humbled by your writing.

It is truly a wonderful piece of work and a joy to have read. Thank you for sharing.
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:08 AM
Originally posted by: mrseddh

My mom, Sylvia Egeland, just passed away on Valentine's Day after an 8 year struggle with Alzheimer's. My mother-in-law, Betty Hespe, passed away on Independence Day, 2006 after a three year struggle with the disease. Two losses of two wonderful women, in just 7 months. This poem I wrote is dedicated to our moms, Sylvia and Betty - and to all Alzheimer's patients and their families.

A Shadow Of A Soul

There she sits, just a shadow of a soul
The light in her eyes, no longer glows
This thing that grips a once vibrant mind
Now pushes to depths all so unkind

The sorrow, the pain, the unspoken words
So often I think, “if only I could…”
Hold you and calm your fears
Have you hold me, and bring back some cheer

For now you are here, but so far away
I want you to love me, I want you to stay
Please know how I try
To make things just right
Even without that precious light

The caring and sharing of unconditional love
Is all I have left – a gift from above
Please know, forever, you are dear to my heart
I love you so; always have – from the start

While this trial in life, makes things so hard
I know deep inside you are a part –

A part of my past,
A part of my now,
A part of my future
You always knew how

To fix the broken,
Repair the old
Soothe the furrowed
Smooth the folds

I love you so much
If you know it or not
You will always hold that place
So special in my heart.

Dedicated to my mom and all Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones

Wendy Hespe
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:08 AM
Originally posted by: debbied

Thank you so much for the flood of memories. I could hear the gentle lapping of water and feel the sun of the summers at the lake with my dad. You brought tears of longing and joy for the man he was.

Yes, he did teach me to skip rocks, my brother just wanted to show off and wouldn't take the time for his little sister, but dad did.