Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Rock

Years ago, in the early 80s, my father came to visit me for a day in San Diego from New Jersey before heading up to LA to a Hewlett-Packard conference. I will never forget it. He opened his bag and pulled out a shiny-green, ocean-washed piece of granite and placed it in my hand. “I found this on the beach one morning and wanted you to have it,” he said.

It was solid, smooth, heavy and felt cool in my palm. I liked the way it felt, and could understand why my father would want me to have so simple a treasure.

Throughout the years that rock went with me to every city I traveled. It’s been almost 30 years, and I still have it. Momentarily it is in my ex-wife’s possession. She loves it just as much as I do and uses it all the time for cooking. She especially finds it useful for pounding out arepas and plantains.

The rock sits on the kitchen counter next to the stove. For now I will let her keep it, but she knows how I feel about it and its history. She, too, found it to be a very curious story—why a father would fly all the way across the country to give his son a rock he found on the beach, but of all the things my father has ever given me, that is the one thing I value most.

Love to all!

James M. Weil