Some weeks ago I spent an entire morning on my knees sorting out the garden.
Specifically, I worked at the patch of ground directly below our kitchen window. It's filled with hundreds of small stones, but lately the weeds have begun to rise up and crowd out the stones.
I had to do something about it; stooping to pull handfuls of rascally weeds once in a while simply wasn't enough.
The thing to do, I decided, was to pick up each stone in my hand, one by one, clear the ground of anything but rubbly soil, and put the stones back again all nice and neat.
I suppose I must have shifted six hundred stones that morning. In the end, it felt as though I'd rid the whole garden of weeds, and not a small corner, so triumphant was I.
But that's not the thing I'll remember most.
Between scooping up the stones, tearing at the weeds, and finally setting all the stones back down again, I only looked at the work I'd done, and never at my hands. I would reach for a stone without examining it, regardless of the direction I wanted to toss it in.
Towards the end I picked up a random stone- aren't all stones random?- and was seconds from throwing it back onto the fresh soil.
Instead, a quiet, nameless something suggested I have a little look at what rested in my palm.
I did so, and I saw the usual smooth, pale-grey stones I was familiar with.
Turn it over, the same something said. Turn it over.
I suspected I was being a little silly. I'd presumably overworked myself, and I ought to eat my breakfast soon; still, I turned the thing over in my hand.
There was a face roughly drawn on the small rock.
It came with eyes and glasses, and a grin that beamed up at me.
There, it seemed to say. That's better. Now we've met.
Of all the rocks, I thought, almost dropping it with alarm into the heap of hundreds I'd been through; of all the rocks in all the garden, I had to turn this very one over.
I called to Spouse and showed him what I'd discovered.
"But- isn't that sort of strange?"
"Just a bit," I agreed. "I'm bringing it into the house. I couldn't leave this outside now that it has a face on it."
Spouse wasted no time in naming the curious specimen:
"I'd call it Rockafella."
And so we do.