By Steven Wade Veatch
I saw the stone on a long furrow, after the farmer’s spring plow,
like a glob of pudding packed with raisins, nuts, and bits of cranberry.
When I picked it up, I held eons of time.
As I wondered how the stone looked long ago, it broke its silence
and whispered its ancient origin, from an era when rushing streams
tumbled rock fragments, in a wild dance over time’s expanse.
As the days passed by, slowing water scattered pebbles on sand
and mixed them. Over time the material hardened into a rock
with a chaotic fabric of colorful stones cemented by sugary grains of white quartz.
More time, then more time, and with heat and pressure
it became quartzite,
a metamorphic rock,
And then more change, and the days grew gray, cloudy, and cold,
with dark, blowing winds. Glacial ice crept south and plucked
this stone from Ontario’s bedrock
and carried it away.
The climate shifted, the blue ice melted, and the stone released
on a quiet Michigan landscape for me to find 12 centuries later.
I put the stone back down, where agents of weathering
and time will change it once more, breaking
it down to its original ingredients.
The puddingstone makes me pause and ponder,
and I am here to say the only true constant
is endless change. Nothing stays the same,
or even me.
First published in the Betsie Current.