Among the Rock People

Schoodic! This morning the sea is flat and  calm, its vibrant blue reflecting the clear, sun filled sky above. A small seal, who has visited daily, plays a short distance offshore.

Yesterday we visited Schoodic, one of our favorite parts of Acadia National Park. The peninsula is a ways north of Mt. Desert Island, a considerable drive up the coast if one is staying in Bar Harbor. It is usually uncrowded and the rocky shore is always majestic. Often, thick fog rolls in from the sea, creating dangerous conditions for boats and people alike; foggy days there are their own magic.

If you have visited the northern Maine cast you will know that it is rocky and steep, the hills coming right down to the ocean. Beaches tend to be brief affairs, and pebble strewn, making walking, let alone boat launching, a challenge.

WeatheringYesterday, as I sat on a bolder, surveying the beach and tide pools, my gaze fell on a granite outcropping that was breaking up as it weathered. The massive rock was fractured in many places, chunks, large and small, breaking free of the substrate.

Above me stood a sign that read, “Please Leave Rocks Here.” Acadia is one of the most visited parks in eastern North America, and I imagine that if the millions of visitors who come here yearly each took a stone, the beaches would soon be denuded.

I like to think about those rocks, and the fracturing that creates them. Weathering is a slow birth, and frost and storm determined midwives. These forces that create fracturing, and thus ever small discrete stones, are responsible for diversifying consciousness among the stone people. I wonder what slow thoughts pass through the awareness of a pebble newly separated from a larger rock. How many eons pass before that pebble becomes aware that it is now a unique being?

I believe it is difficult for most of us to appreciate the implications of weathering for the lives and dreaming of the rock people. After all, we are taught by the dominant culture that stones lack awareness, that they are just inanimate objects cast across the landscape by random processes.

So often that same metaphor is subtly applied to our own lives, casting us adrift in an unfriendly, meaningless universe. I believe there are indeed random events that help to shape our lives, but they occur within a larger frame, a mythic trajectory that gives our lives connection and meaning.

As I surveyed the landscape, I pondered the vast number of individual selves that inhabit the landscapes of our lives, their comings and goings, their birthings and disappearances. I wondered about the processes that create individuals and then, rapidly or slowly, return us to the whole. It is, indeed, a great Mystery.


19 thoughts on “Among the Rock People

  1. Very beautiful area Michael 😀 Thank you for sharing.
    I love the rocks and if we stand bare feets at them, we can feel their vibrations, which can be different from area to area. Some places the rocks seem to be happy and other places very unhappy, up to the story in the area, which often has been before our time here.

      1. Yes Michael. I can give you an example from I just arrived here in Spain.
        I lived far away from everything in an area, where there were some really great rock areas. Before I got to know anything about the area and the stones I had a walk, where I walked at my feets alone. I felt the rock area was so unhappy and needed healing and positiv attention.
        Later I found out, that there had been an old market place there where the local farmers sold their stuff.
        When I came the area was empty for people, the hunters hunted all possible, even I removed their signs in my area, which allowed them to hunt there too. I heard the wild pigs in some nights screeming for their lives and escaped to my area, where after I needed to go out to get the hunters to disappear from there.
        All in this area were starving and the rocks seemed to be so sad with bad stories. I sent them healing, but it was not enough, they needed people to care for them.

      2. Oh, Irene, we humans have the opportunity to care for the world and the rock people. What a blessing! of course no one of us can do it all; we need the help of many. Still, I believe every moment of caring truly makes a difference.

  2. I love the details of your surroundings and the deeper insights they inspired, Michael – profound and eloquent reflections about the experiences and meanings of separations and connections to a larger wholeness.

  3. Beautiful descriptions of the landscape that surrounds you Michael and I love the way you see the meaning and spirit in every thing. Perhaps our urge to collect pebbles is an unconscious recognition of the spirit held in them even by those who would believe rocks are inanimate.

    1. Andrea, I imagine you are right, that pebbles call to us. It is good to ask permission before one picks up a stone, and to leave a little tobacco or corn meal. Often, I believe, stones have something they want to share with us, maybe just comfort – a huge gift!

  4. I really loved reading this this morning, Michael! I wonder also 😉 Hope everything in your world is super! I had a trip planned to Bar Harbor and Acadia NP last summer…but something came up and the trip was cancelled 😦 I will try again one day…but was happy to see your post. Hope your Sunday is full of many blessings ❤

    1. Thank’s Lorrie! We love Acadia, and have family there so look forward to our trips. Bar Harbor is a lovely small town surrounded by marvelous land and people. I hope you make it to the Bar Harbor region someday, as it is indeed a treasure.

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