Home from Greece, jet-lagged, I move like a robot. I empty my suitcase, filling the laundry basket. From a corner of my luggage, I pull out a small plastic bag that I had stuck there and then forgotten. Stones: a pure white one, a couple striated with the gray-blue of a cloudy sky, and another, a mottled brown with a lapis-like vein running down the middle. A remembrance of our swims in the Ionian Sea.
I pile them on the kitchen counter next to the few that my husband toted home. When I am on the phone, or maybe just passing by the counter, I will roll them around in my hand and remember the water. Water more blue than ever believed possible. I had admired the blue in pictures of course. But it always seemed to have been photo-shopped, even before photo-shop was a verb.
In a week or two, I will put the stones in a bright azure plastic bag saved from a candy purchase on Zakynthos. I will write in black felt pen: Greek Isles, Sept. 2014, then place the bag downstairs in the old carpenter’s tote box in the storage room. There they will rest, next to bags of stones from Yachats, and Mackinac Island, and Edisto Beach; next to black shards of obsidian out of the Eastern Sierra and rusty nuggets of taconite from Lake Superior. The bags will nestle there until we are no longer in this home and someone unknown will toss our memories into the creek behind the house.
All except for one stone, carried home from Greece in my day-pack. I place this soft white one on my nightstand because its shape holds a place to rub my thumb. It will come in handy the next time I find something to worry about.
(Date of travel: Sept. 2014)