I love to search the shore,
Select smooth stones that shimmer
Under the liquid shine of the sea.
Turquoise, coral, amber and onyx.
Each one unique,
Shaped by the wind and waves,
Nestled next to seaweed
In swaths of texture and color
That rival a pointillist painting.
I select certain shapes that I know will fit together
In my stone mosaics:
Rectangles, spheres, triangles,
Rugged individualists that defy description,
Each stone has its own shape,
Its own story.
Later, when I have returned to my land-locked abode,
I sort the rocks on my kitchen counter,
Swirl them into patterns
That speak of connectedness,
Then I glue each pebble to the surface
Of a wooden board,
Setting off each stone
Against a titanium white background,
And the patterns emerge —
And petals pirouette,
And gods come to life.
I spray the finished work with shellac,
Making the stones look wet again
Like they were on the strand,
Kissed by the sea.
I can spend hours on the shore,
Hunting and gathering
These talismans of peace.
I don’t know why they speak to me.
They whisper serenity.
When I stroke them, I feel calm.
There is something magical
About taking a part of the landscape
And using it to create my own —
A gift from the ocean
To become my voice,
These pebbles remind me of the feel of the wind,
The taste of the salt,
The sound of the waves,
The sight of the setting sun,
Until its colors bloom
Above the waves,
Leaving a golden path
Through the sea