Paul Decelle ~ Strata

The Box of Rocks

part of: The Wanderers

by Jeff Beardwood

Once upon a lifetime, there were two beautiful brothers named White Wolf and Jade Dragon. White Wolf had fine Elven features, was intense and he learned with a raging hunger. Jade Dragon had a huge heart and was bright of spirit. A very sensitive boy with sparkling eyes, he carried his light before him where ever he went. Both boys were very rich in the art of learning in their own particular way.
From his brother, Jade Dragon learned great imaginings and they explored together the ways of the world in their games. From his brother, White Wolf learned the great power of trust and joy in all the things they dreamed possible together.

Both boys were in the habit of bringing home beautiful things. For Jade Dragon his collection consisted of mostly rocks. When he presented them to his mother and she questioned him, Jade Dragon called these Life Rocks. They kept these in an ordinary box as had his mother and his grandmother and many generations of men and women before them. His mother would watch the wee Jade Dragon gathering a particular rock and would wonder why he would pick up one and not another.

His mother would speculate that he could sense an energy under his feet. She thought it might be one of those simple truths that children so often “get” and adults so often don’t.

Over time, Jade Dragon’s Life Rock collection grew and grew. He loved to admire them and feel their texture on his tiny fingers. They were beautiful. The collection even spilled over to adorn the clan’s spiral garden, where Life Rocks from other places, much too large for Jade Dragon and White Wolf to carry, found their way to the clan home.

As the years passed, this Life Rock collection taught the whole clan a reverence for all the things of the Earth.

On one particular day in the life of the clan, a cup of water was found behind a door with one of Jade Dragon’s Life Rocks soaking inside it. Jade Dragon greatly admired the giant rocks that had found their way into the clan garden and wanted there to be more of them. When he was told that a rock would not grow as would a plant in water, he was much disappointed. He marked the moment in his memory and carefully placed the Life Rock back in his box of rocks, where it could be much admired for many years to come.

And when Jade Dragon was much older he learned that Life Rocks did grow, in a fashion. They grew underground, like a potato, from the building blocks of silt and sediment and the pressure of our churning planet. They grew under our feet and in every part of the world. And as he grew older still, he learned that within each layer of rock, he could see life…the lives of past civilizations and the lives of plants and animals long forgotten. Life Rocks. And in one of his futures, Jade Dragon spent all the days of his life listening to what those Life Rocks had to teach him about our world. And they told him many very old secrets we would not otherwise have known. And the clan always carried with them their box of rocks where ever they travelled on this big old Earth. And they were still beautiful.

...as related by U'Jzur, Twilit Chandorean of the First Generation