I had visited a marine reserve in CA the other week. We had gone to check out the tide pools.
My husband is very into nature from the depths of the ocean to the cosmos. Our DVR has countless episodes of nature shows that my husband has watched.
I like to explore and check out things. I prefer to see and touch and just experience, whereas my husband needs to know the whys and the hows.
My daughter is very much like my husband in the sense that she loves nature. She is also a collector of leaves, flowers, grass, and yes, even inanimate things like rocks. She also has a fascination with bugs. Creepy crawlies, bees, flies, you name it she probably knows what it is. She tries to catch the flies that find their way into our house and when she catches... ahem, kills them (not intentionally, of course since their reflexes seem to slow down after extended periods in our house) she MUST put them in their new home.
Their new home is the flower pot outside our kitchen sliding door. In reality, it is a graveyard but she thinks it is a playground and home of flies who have been released from our home.
The rocks that line the landscaping around our pool find their way into our daughter's sandbox or her water table and sometimes even her pockets as she smuggles them into the house.
When we were at the marine reserve, I couldn't help picking up rocks and shells that I thought our daughter would enjoy. In truth, they were things that I found fascinating to. They were little mementos of our trip which were more precious than anything I could buy in a touristy overpriced shop.
My husband picked up an interesting rock and showed it to me. It looked like it had been molded out of clay and it had holes in it, not jagged holes, but smooth holes. I oohed and awed and held it in my hand before handing him his treasure back. Into the water it went with a flick of his hand.
I was upset and looked at him accusingly. "Why did you do that!?!?"
He looked at me puzzled. "You wanted that?"
I did. So much that he stepped over the slippery rocks to fish it back out of the water so I could tuck it into my pocket for safe keeping.
Peeking into the pools at anemones, starfish, crabs, and fish, I kept my eye out for more little treasures. My pockets were full as we left the beach.
As we were walking to the car, my husband glanced at me and said, "and you wonder where Emmy gets her need to collect rocks."
When I emptied my pockets that was mostly what I had collected.
But they were so pretty. Once they dried, their surfaces were not so shiny and glossy, but I remembered how they looked in the water and I was content. Happy even.
I will confess some of the shells I found and one of the holey rocks would be perfect for jewelry. If I knew how to make my own jewelry anyway. One day I may learn. Some day.
Emmy oohed and awed and they filled her pockets for several days after I came home. They also were sprinkled on the floor of my car because she had to take them out and hold them as we drove around running errands.
Many of them now sit in my husband's fish tank in his office. According to Emmy, it is so the fish can enjoy them to.