Bringing Outdoors In
For years I’ve collected pieces of the earth and brought them into our home. The piles of rocks that adorn my desk – salt-and-pepper flecked dacite, schist embedded with garnet, kryptonite-colored olivine – are testament to this rock hounding love (click on photos below to enlarge).
The community geology classes I took (and my nearly-a-geology-major in undergrad) further solidify this earthy love. Remember the geology class expeditions I shared to the Santa Catalinas and Tucson Mountains – and my introductory “don’t call me a rock-licker” post? Even though that was nearly six years ago, this love of the physical earth persists. My husband, always aware of my affinity for what looked like chunks of nondescript nothingness (I could find something pretty about nearly every rock), bought me a rock tumbler one Christmas.
And it sat. And sat. For years. Literally. Until – finally – I, with hubby’s help, took action this past holiday season (I confess, I was a bit intimidated by all the grinding powders and stages and patience required to tumble and polish rocks). Yet my goal had always been to bring pieces of the outdoors into our home … in a more organized and finely finished fashion than the existing pyramids of difficult-to-dust rocks haphazardly placed on our window ledges.
There’s something harmonious about marrying together the outdoors and inner living space, don’t you think? And so we tumbled some rocks with the intent of turning them into door pulls.
Um… That didn’t go so well, mostly because I didn’t know what I was doing. I had hubby whack away at some of the larger rocks I’d collected from our property, and we tossed them into the grinder in their varying angular shapes.
We quickly realized these uneven – though pretty- rocks weren’t going to make good door pulls. And hubby indicated that the capacity of our grinder wasn’t going to be large enough for the number of rocks we had to tumble.
So… I took the cheater’s way out – I Googled local businesses that did rock grinding and polishing work. The first company I contacted, Arizona Lapidary & Gem Rough, shared great news: they were working with an artist who specialized in door pulls (and they were ever-so-helpful and delightful to work with)!
Here I was, bringing in my nondescript granite (I believe they are biotite granite and hornblende biotite granite), which I thought/hoped had the potential to shine. It was important to me that they be directly from our property – a true piece of the land we call home.
And look what the amazingly talented artist, Jeff, was able to do! (Is my ‘hand off’ to a professional considered a complete cop out? I did make a half-dozen treks up a steep hill on our property to collect 30+ pounds of rocks that I thought would be just right.) Click on the photos below to enlarge so you can see Jeff’s cutting/hand-polishing artistry!
For Writers: I realized that I try to do the same thing with my fiction: I attempt to bring the outdoors in — onto the page and into the imagination of readers. Sharing nature’s sensory experience is important to me, and it’s something I look for in the fiction I read. Do you prefer to experience natural settings in the books you read or write? Is it important to story?
For Everyone: Do you try to physically bring pieces of the outdoors in? What are the advantages to doing so? In life, do you feel humans have lost their connection to the nature?
In Other News: Check out Hummie Cam. Eggs hatched on May 9 & 10. Babies should fledge around May 30/31.