Sunday, April 3, 2011

Out of the groove

Mind and body have been otherwise occupied for the past four days – no posting and limited visits to blogs that feed my spirit, tickle my funny bone or supply helpful examples of everything from photography, gardening and Scripture to rock collecting.

Yes, rock collecting. Who knew there were other blogging rockophiles out there? Okay, I know rockophile isn’t an official word. Google keeps asking me if I mean “Francophile” when I try to search for a definition of “rockophile.” I like the word “Francophile.” Using it makes me feel sophisticated, which I am not, and which is why the feeling, always fleeting, is so enjoyable.

Google, ever helpful, does recognize that “official” never stops denizens of cyberspace and proceeded to follow the sometimes snide “did you mean” prompt with citations that included a “rockophile” reference. Most referred to rock music. One had “rockophile” and “pedophile” in close proximity, but I decided I didn’t want to know what that was about.

One of those dictionary sites here did define the suffix “phile” or “ophile” as occurring in words which refer to someone who has a very strong liking for people or things of a particular kind. Well, there you go!

I guess we stone-liking individuals have as much right to use this non-word as rock music aficionados have. In fact some of us could fall into both categories of rockophiles, those who like rock music as well as rocks, although some may be stoned-liking rather than stone-liking.

Sorry about that. Since in the past few days my brain oozed into the Swamp of Non-posting, also known as the Quagmire of Too Tired to Fire Up the Computer, I hit on the strategy to get my brain working by responding to comments on my previous post here. The post mentioned my choice of rocks as travel souvenirs, and the resulting comments surprised me. Okay, here goes:

To answer Ginny’s question, in my early days as a budding rockophile, I ambitiously started edging flower beds with my treasured rocks and small boulders, much as Kathy mentioned in her comment. My natural laziness quickly put an end to that.

In our climate, St. Augustine grass, weeds and various roots quickly worked in, around and under. To weed required major rock removal then returning rocks to their places of honor once the weeding was accomplished, which I did for more than a decade. In more recent years, I haven’t weeded those beds since before Hurricane Katrina. That was in 2005.

I am just sharing this failure on the improbable chance that there is another individual out there as negligent as I am, who needs to know that he or she is not alone. The first year I excused myself to the gardening angel (or is it a garden gnome) in my head by citing the traveling and time required due to various medical issues experienced by our supreme elders. After Katrina hit, I ruthlessly used both the medical issues and Katrina. Now I just tell the angel, or gnome, to get over it. I will (may?) eventually return those beds to a botanical state I can enjoy.

In the meantime, I have learned that the invasion of roots from shrubs and trees on our property line evidently suck the moisture and other good stuff out of the flower beds. Even weeds have a hard time growing there now. So I am enjoying my unintentional rock garden!

Inspiration has also come from the comments of bloggers Patti, Sandra and Freda. When the day comes that I no longer choose to or am no longer able to lug large rocks, the options are there for selecting small stones or even capturing via digital camera “rock” images that I can take home. And Freda’s account of leaving a favorite “comfort” rock as a prayer at the end of a pilgrimage up St. Brandon’s mountain in Ireland is an appealing practice I had never thought of.

And finally, thank you Dianne, Marcia and Anne for the delight you delivered in your deft word wielding. Dianne, articulating what rockophiles have in common . . . “What is it in those rocks that speaks to us?”; Marcia’s turn of phrase . . . writing about not doing anything with rocks other than to “lug them and love them”; and Anne’s understated humor. . . realizing after the meeting of airport security and a suitcase full of rocks that “rocks don’t seem to trouble the screeners.”

Encountering other rock lovers, and their words, are just two more reasons I love blogging!


  1. Hey, do you remember when Pet Rocks were all the craze? I bet you didn't buy any because you like them in their natural state? Yes, you could just take pictures of the ones you like, thus saving space and your back.

  2. How interesting to learn that there are so many rockophiles who also blog!

    I never had a Pet Rock, but I did purchase a "rock man" back in the 70's! I still have it--someplace!

  3. nothing like rockophilia to make an interesting life. I love all the things we humans become interested in.

  4. Go ahead an lay claim to "rockophile". Stoneophile might imply the use of illicit drugs.
    I do have a blog buddy that takes pictures. Good alternative.

  5. A lovely round up of ideas and comments, thank you. There have been a few bloggers I know having a few days off - I know exactly what you mean about being too tired to fire up the computer. Hope you are recovered now.

  6. I had to laugh at your last paragraph. I thought I was the only loonie who hauled weird things through air port security. All I can say is "Rock On"

  7. Today, I am into fungus, although rocks are just as varied. Nature connects me with everyone who has lived and who will live who takes time to notice things, collect rocks, or photograph interesting things. Dianne