Rock Collection My daughter deposits a rock into the round-topped treasure box that guards her growing collection. Thuds and rattles sound the value of each piece to her and so to me. What distinguishes these from those scattered in the garden outside isn’t quantified by qualities or colors or mineral compounds. She likes them. And that’s enough for both of us. She knows I keep rocks of my own. A brown round one in my briefcase gathered from a gravel driveway, a stone altar to remember losing a long season of love. We look at it together sometimes so she can share its worth with me, a pebble three thousand miles from the rubble heap, not because it shines, but because we look at it sometimes. And today, squinting from the sun on my front porch and the planet I’m learning to see the beauty as Christ opens to me his treasure composed of rocks, thuds and rattles, heaps of things and shining people, gardens and memories of loss, a collection, a stone altar, beautiful because he keeps it. And we look at it together.
Ryan Keating is a pastor, writer, winemaker and coffee roaster on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. His work can be found in publications such as Saint Katherine Review (forthcoming), Ekstasis Magazine, Agape Review, and Miras Dergi, where he is a regular contributor in English and Turkish.