Thursday, August 23, 2007

Skipping Rocks

Have you ever stood on the bank of a nice wide river and skipped flat rocks? There's actually an art to skipping stones. Skipping properly involves many factors - some of which include the direction and speed of the wind, the absence of waves in the water, the proximity to the edge of the shore, the size and weight of the stone. Other factors included the strength of the thrower's arm and the angle of entry. It also helps if there is a healthy competition among other rock skippers.
I've skipped no less than a million rocks and I'm what some would call an expert. Slate rocks are my least favorite. While they are flat, they tend to break apart on entry and the resulting tumble is not pretty. They don't come in good skipping sizes. The big slate rocks sink like anchors and the thin ones curve like well thrown baseballs.
I've learned through experience that the best skippers are flat rocks about the size of a silver dollar that have been worn flat by a fast moving stream. They have the proper weight and balance and if you lean to the starboard (I'm right handed) to just the right angle, it allows the flat rock to hit the still water near the bank and skip forever.
There is a certain beauty to a skillfully thrown rock. I actually had a big ol' bass hit one of my skippers once.
Skipping rocks is an excellent way to spend a lazy summer afternoon. There is something about it that clears the mind to where you drift almost into a Zen-like experience.
I had a grueling meeting today that lasted nine hours and the pace was frantic. After lunch when the energy level lagged, my eyes glazed over and I thought about skipping rocks. It brought a smile to my face and gave me strength to carry on in the face of adversity.

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