It sat there… peaceful; serene, even. The tide came in, washed off the loose, blown sand, then went back out. Pretty much like any other day, really. But the rock knew this day was different…
The young boy came over and stared at the rock, as he had done most days since that first day – the day they had started speaking to each other.
“Can we talk?” asked the young boy, his golden curls flying in the summer breeze. The plastic bucket and spade dangled from the fingers of one hand, the spade about to fall out and onto the sand.
“I’ve got to go away,” said the boy. “Auntie Sarah is better now and mum says we have to catch the train and go home.” He shuffled his bare feet on the sand, digging with his toes.
The rock said nothing. But it did look sad.
“You could come with me?” ventured the boy, but without much hope. “ I suppose you’re a bit big for my small suitcase…?”
The rock nodded, thinking how much of its shape was below the sand, even below the ever-refreshed water pool in which he lived, like a king with a moat. No castle, just a moat… unless he was the castle. He often wondered about that. A friend rock had said that was an existential issue that he shouldn’t lose any sleep over.
“There’s always a way,” said the rock, sensing the boy’s sadness. “You just have to hang on till everything else falls off… then it’s there; what you wanted.”
The boy thought about it, then walked all the way round the rock, as if studying it. He said nothing, but waved his spade as he trundled back up the beach towards his mother.
“Bloody miracle – a train on time…” said Dad, fifteen minutes late to the station at Fernmoor. “Cat got yer tongue?” he said, half turning to the back seat. Roger continued his silence… not even gazing out of the window, just staring straight ahead, letting it all fall off. Mum said nothing, too. But for other reasons…
Once home, the boy ran through the house and made straight for the back door, not even looking at the pile of accumulated comics sitting on the toy box.
“He’s keen!” Muttered Dad, walking to the window to follow the flight of his son. Then he froze, drumming his fingers on the cold glass.
“Cynthia!” he said “Is that your giant rock sitting in the garden pond!”
©Stephen Tanham 2021
Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.