Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beach Exploration: Rock

"Earth and Sky, Woods and Field,
Lakes and Rivers,
the mountains and the seas,
are excellent schoolmasters,
and teach some of us
more than we can ever learn from books."
Sir John Lubbock

Each beach is different, one from the other, but in a singular way they are the same. Where water meets land the shore is covered by sediment - sand, gravel or larger rock fragments. Sometimes mud. Here, amid loud roar of incoming waves and quiet hiss of outgoing tides, signs of the earth's vast history may be found - if one knows how to read them.

I do not know how I may seem to others,
but to myself I am only a small child
wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge,
every now and then finding
a small bright pebble to be contented with.”
It begins with awareness, and then careful observation. Rocks and water have been here for longer than we can comprehend and the tug-of-war between them is ongoing and endless.

The tiniest grains of sand were once mighty boulders, which themselves were once part of the bones of the earth.

Dynamic and restless, this sphere shakes, buckles, and changes through the action of tremors, eruptions, and tumultuous weather.  Heat and pressure from inside shift and move huge chunks of rock upward, forming plateaus and mountains.

On the surface, wind and water are relentless, slowly wearing away the rock and moving it to other places. What began in the fiery bowels of the earth is worn down and its pieces eventually re-formed into layers of new rock.

With enough layers, enough weight, and enough time, much of the surface rock will be pushed back down into the earth where heat and pressure re-form it yet again.

Often, when this new rock finally emerges to the surface again, evidence of the mixing of different rock pieces is evident.

In the end, all is recycled - for the rock and the water have always been here, although the form may change countless times.
River stones remain, while water flows away.”
Romanian Saying


They are here still, although we may pay no attention to their form or function. And here - at the very edge of the water and the land - life clings to both.
“When all the water has gone,
only the largest stones
will still remain in the riverbed.”
African Saying
"Water is fluid, soft and yielding.
But water will wear away rock,
which is rigid and cannot yield.
As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft and yielding
will overcome whatever is rigid and hard.
This is another paradox: what is soft is strong."
"A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth.
The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water.
Even so, life is but an endless series of little details,
actions, speeches, and thoughts.
And the consequences whether good or bad
of even the least of them are far-reaching."

Truly, we are all connected...


  1. Truly for sure we are all connected - you said it!! I very much agree. Thanks for this post and the exquisite photos and words.


  2. Beautiful photos and powerful quotes! I especially love the Lao-Tzu quote about the strength in softness. And yes, we ARE all connected.

  3. This is a beautiful post! Thank you for the time you took to write, to research, to photograph, to edit, and especially for walking thoughtfully on the beach.