Tonight Harper's rock collection was re-released into the wilds of our yard and gravel driveway. It has been years in the making. I remember mornings at Sopris Park long before she could even walk she would scoop up handful upon handful of pebbles with her tiny hands (and then usually jam them into her smiling open mouth.) Going to Waldkinder Preschool only fueled her enjoyment of maintaining a rock collection. Most evenings when I finally got to unpacking her backpack, along with half eaten pieces of jerky and leftover apple cores I'd find a good number of dusty rocks from a hike that day. Considering the Waldkinder philosophy is to carry your own pack for your hikes and bike rides, you'd think Harper would reign the rock collecting in, but no. She gathered them, she painted them, she polished them, she piled them high in the "rock basket" in her room.
Tonight, after the creation of a small rock garden around our mint plants and one short but sweet speech, the rocks from numerous hikes, walks around town, vacations and days at preschool returned to the outdoors. Harper's last line, "Good bye rocks. I'll miss you when I travel, but I will visit you again as soon as we park our car in front of the house another time," captured both the depth and hilarity of the sendoff.