The diminutive rock I picked up at Back Beach in Bernard, Maine on Bass Harbor last September is no more than three inches long. One end has a slight hump and a shaped concave area, while the other is slightly tapered. To me, it looks like an abstract sculpture of a dolphin.
The cool, obsidian stone is smooth as a freshly shaved leg. At one end, near where the dolphin’s mouth might be, there is a curved line in the rock, perhaps a smile.
When I see those rocky beaches, so different from our own on the Gulf coast, I want to pick up every third rock on the beach and take it home. I like their feel. The shape of this one drew my eye immediately. I picked it up and slipped it into my pocket.
The rock is small, but solid all the way through. When I turn it upside down, it looks like a person meditating, their arms crossed across their chest, serene.
It is clear, that I need the rock more than it needs me. The rock is self-contained. In fact, I believe this is the lucky rock I have looked for all my life.
If I imagine this rock as a person it could be Grace Ringer, my character in Eye of the Storm. Grace has gone through life self-contained, and she has not picked up any baggage. Smooth like the rock, with no barnacles, seaweed, or cracks in the surface. She moves through life swiftly, seemingly without need of other people.
The inward smile implies a secret. This rock was once a part of something larger. The idea of joining with a large family, a clan, will thrill and terrify this hard, small, smooth rock of a person. It will be a challenge for Grace to preserve her individuality in their midst. Will she run or will she stay?