H collects rocks on our walks. It is a new passion of his. He carries them away, two in each hand, from various rockeries in our neighborhood.
Rocks in hand, we met a crossing guard on our walk this morning.
Hello, she said.
Hello, I said on behalf of both me and H.
He’s got a rock, she observed.
Yes, I acknowledged.
Is that your special rock? she asked H.
Every rock is special to him, I said.
Oh, I learned something today!
I must have looked perplexed, because she explained, after a pause, I learned that all rocks are special.
Yes. All rocks are special, and what an easy thing to overlook, especially looking at H’s rocks. He finds them strewn around trees and half buried in mulch around the perimeter of the library. We pull them up from the gritty earth on a side street we pass on the way to the park. They fill a thin strip between the concrete ground and the Jewish synagogue at the end of our alley. Most people would probably say that these rocks are nothing special, but H loves them.
Four by four, H is carrying the rocks in our neighborhood to our back door. Most afternoons he sits in the doorway, transferring the rocks from the stoop into our shoes and back outside again. He studies them by turning them over in his hands and putting them in his mouth. They are as captivating to him as any of the puzzles, blocks, and books sitting in the living room just behind him. H thinks these rocks are special. Seeing them through his eyes, I do, too.