Guidelines: Rock Collection

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By Simon Ambit

When our fourth grader bounced through the back door of our home and told me of his homework assignment to gather a collection of rocks commonly found in the area, I thought to myself “Well, that shouldn’t be too rough, there are only about three types.” What I learned was quite the opposite. We went on a family hike and I discovered if we will pay a little more attention to the details of the things around us, there is a plethora of variety that makes up the unique landscape of our wonderful valley.

In our brief jaunt, we collected nearly a dozen rock and mineral types. From coal to shale, each one is unique in make and characteristics. Our five-year-old son discovered a common piece of sandstone and found it to be very gritty and grainy; made up of millions of tiny particles of sand cemented together to form a single stone. My daughter and I found a chunk of conglomerate; it is made through a similar process as the sandstone, but in its creation it gobbles up small pieces of other cobbles and gravel and these become part of the whole.

Our fourth grader also returned having triumphantly found a chunk of basalt, which is an igneous rock formed out of a lava flow forced to cool down very rapidly. We gathered others and as we learned about them together. We found that although they were all rocks, they were vastly different from one another. I enjoyed our little excursion, the discovery and learning what took place on all accounts. I couldn’t help but draw a parallel between the rocks and those around us.

In our lives, some of us look similar while others share very little resemblance. While some are made up of a conglomeration of nationalities, others have only one or two. I know some who are rough and sharp around the outside and very abrasive to the touch, and others who through time and weather, have been rounded and smoothed by the storms and elements of experience.

Though we vary in size, shape, color, strength or age, we share a common bond. It takes that variety and uniqueness to make this one great nation under God, and like the rocks of this Castle Valley, what makes us who we are on the inside is a result of having gone through some degree of heat and extreme pressure.

So, when the difficult pressures of life start to push upon us and the heat of the world is breathing down our neck, remember that we’ve gone through this process before, and we’re stronger because of it. You rock, life is good!

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