I So Love Rocks

By Susan Brown


Every one of us has done it…gone​​ on a trip to the beach and come home with one pocket full of shells and the other filled with sand-washed rocks – the ones that have been smoothed to silk by eons of water and​​ grit.​​ Don’t you just love their​​ feel?


In the Pacific Northwest (and probably other places as well) the two beach treasures are polished black basalt and orange-cream agates. There is one secret beach on nearby Whidbey Island where I have found the best of both. Heavy, cool, frosted lightly with sand. I hold these finds in my hands and feel the centuries, the​​ millennia,​​ stretching back to times I can’t fathom. The​​ dark​​ basalt once spewed from the silent volcanoes ringing the region. The agate, formed in the lava burps,​​ is the jewelry of the shore. Gleaming crystalline like a petrified dessert. Breathtakingly beautiful.


My love of rocks started on the beaches of Lake Erie during​​ the​​ long hot summers of my childhood. The smoothed ovals of granite and limestone skipped across waves, built patios for my fairy kingdoms, and even weighed down tails of wind-whipped kites. A few years later when my family drove across northern Ontario (three days folks!)​​ I saw​​ how the Canadian Shield’s​​ granite​​ rearing​​ up​​ through the thin soil in plates as big as any house. You can feel the bones of the earth when you picnic on that​​ vast​​ sun-warmed rock.


Add some more years and my husband and I dabbled in a bit of rock hounding. After a leg-aching climb up a mountain (I have never been in shape, ever) I found clusters of granite crystals,​​ upthrusting geometric shapes,​​ clear as ice, ancient as…rock.​​ These crystals became a focus for a friendship in my kids book about bullying,​​ Hey, Chicken Man!​​ Other minerals​​ became the​​ magical​​ anchors​​ in​​ a young adult fantasy,​​ Twelve, that I’ve been working on.​​ 


Crystal samples, amethyst clusters, and nameless​​ stones that I like the look of are scattered around my house. Every time I pick one up, I feel myself reconnect to the earth itself –​​ the​​ weight, the energy, the sense of time rolling​​ onward​​ despite my day-to-day frustrations, irritations and ambitions.


A simple reminder of where I belong and where I will eventually journey. And​​ they are all​​ beautiful and soothing.​​ 


I so love rocks.

About The Author

I love to write! And I love to write for teens. Since I was a kid, bored with school, I’ve been making up stories. Eventually I became a journalist, got married, had kids, adopted dogs and started writing books in earnest. Three followed, plus two more co-authored with Anne Stephenson.

I’ll be publishing a half dozen new books in the next year or two, some fantasy and some realistic which I hope will appeal to teen readers – I’ve had quite a few kids read them and gotten a thumbs up! Check out my website at www.susanbrownwrites.com