Dad and I made rock paths around our house. We loaded the wheelbarrow with rocks at the river and trudged them back home where we dumped them out on the grass and contemplated the jigsaw puzzle of potential combinations. I sometimes wonder if this early rock fitting was key to my brain development. I'm sure it built muscles since we did probably 3' x 200' of stone paths. That's one heck of a lot of rocks, and they had to be basalt or granite, and those are extra heavy rocks.
Had I known that all these stupid rock paths would later require endless hours of weeding, I would've been less enthusiastic about making the paths in the first place. A few years after we made them, Dad and I pried all the rocks back out of the ground and we poured cement under and between them. That helped, but the cement would crack and nothing stops weeds from growing where you don't want them. This is all my brother's problem now since he lives at our old house. He just sprays Round Up.
I still collect rocks. I walk along the river and seek the best lucky stones, the prettiest granite, or maybe the nicest shaped addition for my backyard pond. (Time out to notice and rearrange my clam shell of stones on my computer desk and to wander around the house taking photos of my various rock piles.)
I like painting rocks too. It's a freeing subject since nobody expects them to be actual portraits of specific rocks. It's just my concept of what a rock looks like, but that statement oversimplifies what goes into painting a rock. First, I had to study rocks to know to the core of my being what rocks look like. Second, I have to understand how to paint mass with appropriate lighting. Sometimes I paint things on actual rocks. Lately, I've been wrapping stones with wire to make mobiles too.
I'm beginning to think I have an unusual rock obsession? But if I do, it's genetic. When my uncle introduced his future gemologist wife to various family members, we all said the same thing. "Oh! I collect rocks too!" Then we showed her our rock collections, which aren't "gems", but are special anyway.
When I was older and started studying New Age kinds of things, people sang the praises of crystals. To some, crystals are the answer to anything. I like shiny things, so I picked up some crystals to put in the window, but it occurred to me that all my lucky stones are quartz crystals too, they just aren't shiny. But if crystals are powerful, my hoard of lucky stones will keep me alive forever.
Sometimes, when I've had a really hard day, I lay on the couch and put a basalt rock on my forehead, or maybe on my heart. It just makes me feel better, or perhaps just gives me something else to focus my thoughts on instead of my irritations. Rock is solid and connects me to the river, and the river washes bad things away.