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Archive for November 7th, 2007

Gifts for the labyrinth

Lately I have been the fortunate recipient of a few gifts for the labyrinth.  

It seems like the project of acquiring stones for the inner circle has taken on a life of its own.   I have quite a passion for rocks and stones, and it is gratifying when I discover that I am not alone in this.   My long suffering husband not only puts up with stones and rocks and crystals being scattered all over the house, he aids and abets in their accumulation. 

It is due to his offices that I have splendid stones in the labyrinth from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and several other states.   Much to the amazement of his traveling companion, he stopped to pick up rocks for me when they were driving out to a chair class.   This was several years ago, and they had signed up for two consecutive classes, and during the weekend between classes they made a side trip from New Hampshire down to Rhode Island specifically for the purposes of picking up a rock for me from that state.  

My sister-in-law’s significant other Rory made it his mission to find a rock for me from Antarctica, and he eventually succeeded in that self-appointed task.   A pretty good picture of those rocks can be found at my post “For the Love of Rocks”.   Someday soon I will have to write a post about how these particular rocks came to me.

But right now I am rejoicing in the acquisition of a whole new selection of rocks for the labyrinth.

 6-nov-2007-stones-for-labyrinth.jpg

The little jar in the center of this array contains salt that Jim and I collected when we were on a cruise from Singapore to Australia.   One blustery day as we were traversing the Java Sea, we noticed that salt was collecting on the ship’s rails.  We collected some of it, dried it and put it out in the labyrinth when we got home.   Somehow, the lid of the jar leaked and the salt got very wet, so I brought it inside and dried it out.  I have resealed the jar with beeswax, hopefully it will stay dry.   I may need to cover my wax seal with something to protect it, I don’t know.

 My cousin Mark (who, incidentally, was instrumental in getting me a rock from North Dakota), decided that since he and his wife Kay live fairly near Delaware they could make a trip over there and pick up some Delaware rocks for me.   They were going to surprise me with them at the family reunion, and then I precipitately went off and traveled to Delaware myself.   No matter, they still decided to give me the rocks they collected.   It never hurts to have more than one from an area. 

I was not able to attend the family reunion due to money issues, but my parents went.   Mark gave them custody of the rocks, and they kindly transported them home.   Soon I will be walking them into the labyrinth.   I like to make a portrait of new rocks before I do that, though, in the interest of being able to remember where they came from.   These are the Delaware rocks.

 6-nov-2007-rocks-from-delaware-wilmington-area.jpg

Now, imagine my surprise to discover that Kay had become interested in this project.   She happened to be in Great Britain recently, and while there she picked up a few rocks for me.   These came from Nottingham, and are called Sheffield sandstone.  While I was doing a little research on this stone I discovered that this outcrop was such a soft stone that the local indigenous people tunneled into it to make caves for shelter, and many of these prehistoric caves still exist.  I was also amused to discover that Nottingham has Friar Lane, Maid Marian Way, and Robin Hood Way as some of their street names.

6-nov-2007-sheffield-sandstone-nottingham-england.jpg

She also picked up some small stones in the Peak District on a ridge between Curbar and Froggatt.   (What lovely names!) 

6-nov-2007-peak-district-between-curbar-and-froggatt.jpg 

We went to Google Earth and found Curbar and Froggatt.  Then we followed Mark’s directions to follow Bar Road to Clodhall Lane and used GE’s tools to rotate the view.  This gave us a very good view of the ridge where these rocks were collected.  

After I read Mandarine’s post about his work, I started wondering if maybe his work is not what makes it possible for us to do that very thing.

Well, it isn’t just my cousins that help me out.   My dad collects rocks for me quite regularly.   While he was at the reunion, he picked up some rocks from the land where my grandparents had a dairy farm.   My uncle and his children have given up dairy farming and converted the area to a very nice golf course.

Then on the way home, he stopped at the top of the Eastern Continental Divide, and picked up a rock for me there.  

So, I have been blessed with many gifts for the labyrinth, and I will be transporting them into it soon.

Thank you Mark and Kay!

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