I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.
Several weeks ago, Bobby and I were going for a walk when he stopped and pointed to the creek.
“Look!” he said, and I followed his finger to see a pile of rocks in the creek. One rock, near the base, was triangle-shaped, and its point was down. Rocks were balanced on the upsidedown base of the triangle. It was an amazing sight.
We stook on the little bridge, awed at the sight, when we noticed another little pile further up the creek bed, and then another pile.
Bobby saw him first, the creator of these art forms, a young man in a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off and a yellow bandanna on his head. He saw us and waved. We waved back.
“What do you use to hold them together?” I called down to him.
“What?” he said. “I can’t hear you with the water down here.”
Bobby called my question down to him. He’s louder than I am.
The man held up his hand. “I’ll be right there,” he said, picking his way along the bank of the creek and walking in our direction.
After some introductions, he explained his rock piles to us. Gravity holds them together, and his fine sense of balance.
“When the days are nice like this, I can’t wait to get down to the creek,” he said.
“What do you do for a living?” I asked him.
“I’m unemployed right now, but I love playing with the rocks. It’s like therapy,” he said.
“How long do they last?” Bobby asked.
“Some will last for days, some only a few hours. A gust of wind, a curious kid — sometimes it doesn’t take much to make them topple.”
Since that day, I have seen his creations often in the creek, and even around town. I’ve tried to take pictures.
Some day, I’ll try to build my own.