AN AGATE TALE
You and a few friends have decided to take a long exploration trip through the desert. Your long walk begins under the hot rays of the sun across dunes and plateaus of ruddy red sand and sandstone.
You discover a thin dry stream bed and follow it. It cuts into the ground and takes you deep into a narrow gulch of twisted swirling sand stone walls. The air is cool and damp. Shadowy darkness surrounds you. A trickling stream of water has entered in from somewhere. You contort your body around multiple obstacles and slither between narrow walls. A shaft of light enters in above you and gives the sandstone a soft orange glow. You feel calm and comforted, as if time has somehow slowed or stopped and you have the power to resume it when or if you want to.
Another slot enters the one you’re in. Some members of your group want to take it. “It might be a short cut.” One of them says, “Or maybe just a better way,” another remarks. It’s a temptation. You consider it for a moment, but you know slot canyons well enough. Although another course might appear to be easier, one never knows where an unfamiliar slot canyon goes. You continue on in the slot you’re in. With some disappointment, your friends follow you.
You exit the slot canyon and follow the trickling stream to a clear pool. You cool yourself with water. Someone is wondering if you know where you are. You might be wondering yourself. You're not. You know very well where you are and where you are going.
Walking time passes. Some of your companions become concerned. They’ve become worried that you have taken them all the wrong way, and now everyone is lost. You come to the edge of a wide river. In a moment some other friends meet you there as planned. Of course this was all planned. Nobody goes roaming around in the desert without a plan.
These friends have been on a river raft adventure of their own. You and your hiking group jump in with them. The raft takes you a short distance and enters into a large lake. You watch ripples drift away from the raft. You are tired. While other people paddle, you fall asleep to the gentle rocking motion of the water.
You awaken. You are lying on warm sand listening to waves roll against the shore. You wonder where everyone has gone. You begin to panic. You feel like you've been abandoned. You get up from the sand and start calling out names. Nobody answers. Then you hear laughter somewhere behind a sandstone monument. Okay good joke, you think.
AGATE STONE INFORMATION
COMPOSITION: Silicon dioxide with iron, manganese and other mineral impurities.
COLOR/DESCRIPTION: Mixed variety of colors, commonly clear, white, brown, black gray, light blue, or yellow/orange. Agate is defined as a variety of chalcedony (microcrystalline to cryptocrystalline quartz) that shows transparency, translucency and/or ordered patterns in the stone (lines, banding, swirls, concentric circles, etc.)
LOCATION/ORIGIN: Many locations; formed in igneous (volcanic) environments as precipitates from aqueous solutions, dehydration of opal or low temperature volcanic activity, often filling cavities in cooling lava, but commonly found in sedimentary environments after extensive weathering of surrounding host rock.
HISTORY/FOLKLORE/USES: Named after the Achates River (now the Drillo River) in Sicily, which is still a major source. Agate was valued by ancient civilizations. It was used by the Egyptians before 3000 B.C.
EMOTION/MOOD: A grounding stone for physical and emotional balance; self-acceptance and self-confidence. OCCUPATION: Dentist, Executive, Management, Optometrist.
Copyright 2015 Steven A. Barben
This blog is also found at jemelww.blogspot.com
Pough, Frederick. 1983. Peterson Field Guides: A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals.
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Mottana, Annibale; Crespi, Rodolfo; and Liborio, Giuseppe. 1978. Simon & Shuster’s
Guide to Rocks and Minerals. Simon & Shuster Inc.
Sullivan, Kevin. 1987. The Crystal Handbook. Armadillo Press.
Note: Minor sources may include, but are not limited to a variety of printed and online sources. “An Agate Kind of Tale” is an original story by Steven A. Barben – author of this blog.
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