When taken to the museum on school outings, I'd be the lone child examining the marble plinths while everyone else was dutifully following the guide to learn how steam engines worked. And when I cracked open a geode and found it lined with fairy crystals, my whole world changed forever.
How I managed not to formally study the origin of stones, I have no idea; instead studying psychology, ministry; then somehow wandered into teaching meditation and metaphysics, jewellery design, working in pharmaceutical research, and writing articles on those topics.
Recently I've been writing a work of as yet-unpublished fiction, and a casual comment about the architectural use of a stone type posed by one of my characters about a British structure he'd seen once while travelling sent me scurrying to the internet to determine whether what I’d been intending to write was feasible for the region.
I spent the next ten hours reading like a sponge, murmuring, ‘Oh…my!’ I knew myself to be in the company of kindred spirits. I was in rock junkie heaven!
I'm not a geologist, and know perfectly well that I haven't got a clue as to how to go about interpreting much of the information presented here. It’s so far over my head that I feel like a coal miner. And yet the language in the atlases particularly is perfectly pitched, being informative and educational without being overwhelming.
And as the snow piles up over here in northern Illinois in the USA, I'm going to be spending some quality time wandering the countryside in the UK in my mind, getting to better know your beautiful, ancient stones.
Thanks for listening. Judi Hendricks
|The ancient stones of Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland, from GeoScenic; the National Archive of Geological Photographs.|