A long time ago there was a man who flew airplanes, then become an airplane mechanic. He also had a great love of nature. I am sad to say that I did not know this man as well as I would have liked. He was quite aloof and a little grumpy, but I knew, under that gruff exterior, he had a love of all things beautiful. He then married a concert pianist. It was love at first sight. he walked into to a concert hall and saw her at the piano. He fell in love with her on the spot. He was 23. A couple of years later they had three children, the third child was my mother.
This mans name was Geoff. He used to collect rocks. I know that seems a little boring, but hear me out. He would not only collect rocks, but he’d clean them, polish them with a special machine and make them look stunning. He would sit over his polisher in the garage for hours. He put his glasses on, pushed the foot pedal and held that small dirty, cracked rock over the polisher until it had a smooth and shiny surface. He spent hours and hours doing it. They could have been worn as jewellery they looked so good.
He had quartz, rose quartz, pyrite and even opal. He never smoothed out the Pyrite, but I remember being fascinated as I held it up to the light and saw all the flat metalic parts sticking out of it like something of an alien planet.
He had pink, orange, blue, green rocks that were so beautifully smooth and shiny. He polished them so well that you could see the layers of crystal inside them, like layers in a cake. I wonder what ever happened to that old polishing machine. They looked even more beautiful in the sun.
Then came the early 70′s. I came a long. I would look at his gleaming polished rock collection with awe and wonder. I could see each tiny crack, layer and grove within each rock. Each rock was another world. It was magnificent. I shared my love of all things natural and beautiful with him.
I loved shells. The swirls, curls, shapes and smooth textures of the shells fascinated me. How could these beautiful works of natures art be scattered all over the beach so freely? Back when I was young, there were shells everywhere…every beach you went. Nowadays you’d be hard pressed to find an array of shells on a beach. Perhaps we’ve collected them all.
To cut a long story very, very short, when my grandfather died at 94, I inherited his rock collection. I was delighted that I had something of his that was so beautiful. He really appreciated natural beauty, he was a great lover of it. I decided to combine my shells and his rocks in a beautiful glass vase. The other day I cleaned them all and laid them out in the sun to dry. And here they are.
Each rock you see was hand picked, cleaned and lovingly polished by my grandfather. Each shell you see was handpicked from various beaches all around the east coast of Australia; from Victoria, NSW and up to Queensland.
I thought you might like this picture.