I don't run. I don't jog. I walk. And Tuesday, out of the walking routine, I wandered. Wearing pants with no pockets, I carried my phone. The wander turned into a 5k meander. The phone became a camera.
Many years ago Bill and I went with friends to Belize and spent a week on a live-aboard scuba diving boat. The ocean was our backyard. The swim deck was always open, and we relied on our dive computers to beep and tell us when it was safe to return to the water. We had to be on deck for so long to let the nitrogen leave our bodies before safely diving again. We dove at night as well. For the first few nights, I followed the group looking for nocturnal lobster. Bored with that nightly hunt, I turned my attention to the boat's photographer.
Charlie had an impressive camera and barely moved 15 feet along the ocean wall while everyone else chased lobsters. On about the fourth night dive, I asked if I could tag along with him. The abundance of nocturnal macro-life on the ocean wall was astounding. Most memorable was a basket sea star that had unfurled its tendrils to find dinner. I'm still in awe of the myriad of life in the 3x3-foot sections of wall we covered that night.
My walk today was that kind of journey. I have been on this particular path many times. Even though the sky was gray, the fall colors were bright. The scenic view was beautiful but hard to capture. Little tidbits sometimes paint the best picture of the whole.
I passed the Jewish cemetery and noticed small stones and pebbles on many of the headstones. My first thought was that kids had stole into the cemetery and deposited these, but the rocks were orderly and seemed purposely placed.
At the end of my photo journey and back at the house, I looked for an explanation on-line and discovered that it's tradition for Jews to lay stones on the graves of loved ones. The original rationale for this tradition varies from a grave marker before head stones were used to holding the spirits of loved ones in the grave longer. Today, placing a stone is a sign of respect and a way to honor the memory of a loved one.
Unlike flowers, stones are timeless, solid, and strong.