I am sitting by a river within two stone’s throw of the flowing water. All around me are millions of rocks, some dating back to the late Oligocene (around 25 million years ago) or early Miocene (around 23 million years ago), which was a time of volcanism in the young, growing Cascade Mountains of western Oregon.
Over the millennia, they traveled from various locations in the Cascades to where I am sitting. As I look around, I find the variety of sizes, shapes, textures, colors, and beauty beyond thought—for each rock is unique in the universe.
What, I wonder, would they tell me if they could talk? How and when were they born? What was their parent material like? How did they grow? What was their world like then? How did they come to be individuals? How did they come to be in the upstream tributaries, and which ones, prior to their usherance into the River? How long was their journey from their first experience with a stream until they reached this point and honored me with the wonder of their being?
If only they could speak and I could hear their voices. But then, it would take many life times to hear each in turn and listen to its tale. How could I comprehend the collective facets of their stories, let along know what questions to ask and comprehend the totality of their answers?
What I do know, however, is they have graced my life with such beautiful wonder that I shall forever be grateful for the privilege of sharing their magnificent presence. . .
Text and Photos © by Chris Maser 2011. All rights reserved.