I’ve never been much of a collector, but I do have some Battersea boxes, most of which were given to me as gifts. One–my first–has a single rose on it with the words “I Love You.” Another depicts a hot air balloon, and others are part of a Christmas series, with consecutive years on them.

I don’t understand people who collect butterflies; their beauty is evident, but the lack of life seems terribly sad to me. And rocks?  For one thing, they’re heavy, unless we’re talking pebble. For another, I haven’t found one as beautiful as a Battersea box or a butterfly.

At least that’s what I thought until I saw the rocks on the beach at Esposende, Portugal last Wednesday. They are smooth and lovely, many with rings and bands like so many mini-Jupiters.

Esposende Rocks Closeup

I’m not the only one who was intrigued, although Carson may have viewed them as unusual baked potatoes with sea salt.

Esposende Pup with Rocks

I picked up a stone and slipped it into my pocket, a small treasure to remember the moment. It was then I recalled the Pet Rock craze of decades ago. I had one, ensconced in its little box. I suppose it was all about having responsibility that really was not much of a responsibility, which was just what I was looking for in my twenties.

Since then I’ve had a great deal of responsibility. Sometimes I’ve succeeded and sometimes I’ve failed. But this past week, as the season of Lent began, I was reminded of He who never fails, and stone could not contain, a Rock on which I can eternally depend.

Esposende Sunset