Busiek and the Fair Trade Stone
On a long drive across country, the best break is one where you can walk through a forest. So on our way through Missouri, we stopped at Busiek State Park, a place we had never been and only knew about because of those familiar brown road signs. We get out of the car, stretch our legs, and planned to walk a mile or two before we piled back in for the long haul home. But to our pleasant surprise, just a few minutes into the hike, the White River presented herself in full flowing glory. The water as clear as glass and the stones grounding and full of minerals. So we take our shoes off and jump right in. One of the ways I connect with Nature is to witness moments through camera, by taking the time to look at the details rather than through them. We pull rock after rock out of the waters, admiring each glistening quartz and the feel of the sandstones. I hope to take some home, but before I do I plan on asking the river if I can take from her. I plan to ask but was busy photographing so I set my favorites aside with the intention of asking but in my heart already claiming them as my own. Not five minutes later, after I put my glasses in my pocket to rest my eyes, I notice my glasses had fallen into the river. Without clear eyes to see, I ask Dan for help, but its difficult because the glasses are the same color as the rocks. Just two minutes after that, the sky threatens with a huge dark cloud and rain begins to fall. I grasp my camera to keep it dry and I grab my rocks and run to the edge of the river. I turn around before I make my way to the truck and casually ask the river if I can keep the stones. Shockingly, the river had some strong words to say!
“If you take something valuable from me,
I will take something valuable from you.“
Holy shit, I think. Wow. Ok. I stand there for a moment in disbelief. Nature had never been that stern with me before. I sit there for a moment, I put one of my stones back but I decide that there is one stone that I simply feel I cannot part with. I look back at the river and say… deal. Then it really starts to pour. So I get in the car while Dan and Gwen are desperately looking for my glasses. I yell out, “it’s ok, lets get going!” But they keep at it. A few minutes later they return with nothing but drenched clothes and a valiant effort on their face. We pull out of the park…. and then it stopped raining…. I will never forget that experience. I plan to return the rock next time I come through Missouri. But for now, the rock is a reminder of fair trade and a beautiful river that has great spirit.