Simple thought

by cheri block

A long time ago, someone lugged a heavy rock up a steep hillside and put it in its place.

Others helped in the endeavor. Who these people were and why they built their walls is a mystery.

Soon these walls would criss-cross the pastoral rolling hills that flank one side of the San Francisco Bay. From Berkeley in the north to San Jose in the south, these rock lines cause pause among those who notice.

Everyday, I walk up my road, see these walls, and think about the people who built them.

They are not the Great Wall of China or Stonehenge in England. They are not Roman ruins in Ephesus or pyramids in Egypt.

They are a simple line of dot-rocks that remind us to produce something.

So, go do it.

About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
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16 Responses to Simple thought

  1. Man of Roma says:

    Simple. Deep.

    Yes, doing something & produce something, which is good no matter what.

    Sometimes I really believe I received some sound education from the Anglo-Saxons – and from my wife.

    Hope all is with with all your beloved ones. G

  2. andreaskluth says:

    After another day of “LA moments” (woman rolling past my daughter in her SUV into intersection while checking her eyeliner in her mirror, etc), this makes me miss the Bay Area.

    People in fleeces, with clogs, contemplating rock walls.

    Oh, btw, I built that wall.

    (The Bay Area must have a herding past, no?)

  3. Cheri says:

    I am so pleased to have the mystery solved.
    And in which life did you build that wall?

    I guess to be the California correspondent, you had to move to LA. Stay safe!

    Are you telling me that there are no folks in fleeces and clogs in LA??

    When I lived there during college, OMG, what a tripperooo…Here I was, a plain NorCal girl who wore 501 jeans and madras shirts trying to blend in with USC coeds in scarves, jewels, and padded bras… of course today in LA, no need for padding with the ratio of plastic surgeons per capita…

    Come back to the Bay Area!

  4. zeusiswatching says:

    soil erosion was a reason we often maintained stone walls on our farm and why they were put there in the first place. Boundary markers too. Sheep are often grazed in rotation through fields so the low walls helped. Simple, electrically charged poly-wire temporary fencing with fiberglass fence posts does the same thing, and better today.

    Someone had tried to build a pond on our property a couple of generations ago. That didn’t work, but the failure led to a large supply of such stones to be moved around to weigh down salt and feed dishes, temporarily plug holes in places and play other useful roles around the farm.

    Keeping fields free of jutting rocks was a good idea. Animals and people could get injured, machinery damaged. So piles of rocks got made and uses were had for them. Low lying walls were one of those uses. So too buildings and shelters.

    • Cheri says:

      Interesting, indeed, Zeus.

      We, too, have picked up most of the rocks on our property and made our own walls, symbolically keeping the practices of those who have lived here before us.

      When we bought the old house and outbuildings, some which could not be salvaged, we spent 5 years cleaning up the property. In that endeavor, we found a treasure trove of “stuff” literally buried in the ground: pottery and art pieces. In the foundation of an outbuilding, we found over 200 lantern plates, taken with an old camera. They are still in the dark in our basement. Photos of Cal Berkeley in 1898, etc.

      I’d like to learn more about your property. Maybe you could blog about it.

      • zeusiswatching says:

        Sold the rural property some years ago. We moved into a house in a nearby small city (25k) and there was no way I was going to be out there trying to maintain and manage a rural property and the urban rentals we had here.

        On a farm, everything breaks in the winter. That’s the rule. So I wasn’t about to move into town only to go back to the farm to fix things in the dead of night in the cold of winter. Weaving temporary fences from the branches of fallen trees and plowing a huge gravel driveway are only fun the first several dozen times.

  5. andreaskluth says:

    Nope, no fleece and clogs. All teh women wear boots called Uggs, even in the summer heat. So: Uggs on the feat, and teeny bikini thingies on top.

    And yes, so much silicon. In boobs, lips….

    THIS is the Silicon Valley, not the one near you.

    God, so far I have little positive to say about the place. Mind you, I like the palm trees…

    • zeusiswatching says:

      LA is a wonderful place despite itself sometimes. There is the Getty (both sites), and the incredible places to eat. I’ve always enjoyed people there despite the image madness. Still, I’d return to No. Cal in a heartbeat. So. Cal, I’d have to think about it for awhile.

      • Cheri says:

        Hi Zeus,
        Having experienced both sides of the California universe, I would opt for Northern California. I’ve always hoped we could be our own state. But we would have to set the boundaries below Yosemite.

        I also love San Diego though…

  6. The Sci-Fi Fanatic says:

    No, it’s not the Great Wall of China, Stonhenge or Avebury, but it is indeed a beautiful site eh? It may remind you to produce something, but it reminds me of the beauty I find in the simple things around us. Thanks.

    Hope Mom is improving. Best.

  7. Cheri says:

    H Sci-Fi Fanatic,

    I always appreciate your comments. This one, in particular, reminds me yet again, that the same image can produce a different feeling or thought. Andreas Kluth illustrated that in a blog post last week with a picture of a bus.

    As for mom, thank you again for your wishes. She is doing OK. We are having a surprise 80th birthday party for her in early March.

  8. The Sci-Fi Fanatic says:

    Bless. Nice.

  9. lichanos says:

    They are a simple line of dot-rocks that remind us to produce something.

    So, go do it.

    Why must we produce anything? Unless we feel like it…

  10. Cheri says:

    I guess you didn’t read the next post.

    I can see you don’t like imperative sentences..


  11. lichanos says:

    Actually I did read it, but that imperative left me boilin’

    You might like the book Stone Work by John Jerome.

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