The Big Rock

Cousins Galore!
Another generation of cousins. This picture was taken under the crab-apple tree at the farm in 2009. Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

Four of us could sit on it. It came to my shoulders. It was moss-covered. It was an icon. It was “The Big Rock”.

I was less than 7 years old. Every time we drove down my grandparents road, we would stop and see the big rock. I still do this, even though I have a harder time finding it, and it’s no longer as big as I remember. When I was less than 7 years old, it was huge. To my adult eyes perspective has changed. This rock, though, was our icon. We visited often when we visited. We begged my uncle Danny to escort us to the rock. We would run around, ogle it, play with it. It was ours.

The big rock was an icon of the farm, the one place I will always call home. I moved around a lot as a kid, so the one thing that was always there was the farm. Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Sure, some things have changed. The barn has crumbled. The tire swing broke. Picnic tables have changed. The garden has its own ebbs and flows. But the house stands, the rock stands, even if it isn’t as big as I recall.

I wonder what Levi will take away from his childhood. I won’t nor can I recreate all the good memories from mine. I wonder if I’ve as consistent with instilling tradition as my mother was. What will his big rock be? What will the thing he takes away from being a kid be? The thing that holds all the golden memories of summer. The thing that transports you when you smell a certain smell.

When I envision this image of the big rock, I am that age — less than 7. We are all sitting on the rock. Now, as an adult only one and a half fit. How could it really fit 3 of us when we were 7? Were our bums that small? It’s balmy. It’s summer. So, the it must be in the upper 70s or low 80s. The gravel road is dusty, so it’s been dry for some time. The sky is a brilliant blue. There is a hint of gold on the deciduous trees, so it must be August. And, fall must be just around the corner. The grass is high. The fields haven’t been used for hay in a few years. The apples, on the crab-apple tree, are getting bigger. We pick wild flowers on our way back.

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