There is a big parking lot behind a restaurant
and there are decorative pebbles between the sidewalk
and the parking lot. Kimberly and I were walking
along the sidewalk. I stopped, pointed into the lot.
“Look at that pile of pebbles,” I said, “stacked up, balanced,
almost as if someone built them into a pattern.
No one did. I saw how that pile of pebbles happened.
After the last snow, a car missed the exit. One tire
drove over the pebbles and sprayed a bunch of the rocks
onto the snow. The next day the Sun melted the snow.
As the snow slowly melted the pebbles settled down
on top of each other, gently, forming the pattern.
It looks like someone arranged them but it’s just nature.
Geologists think glaciers can move boulders around
in a similar way but at a much larger scale.”
Kimberly looked down at the pebbles and up at me.
She said, “So you saw how this pile of pebbles got made?”
I nodded. I said, “Yeah, I often walk past this lot.”
Kimberly nodded, too. Then she stepped into the lot
and kicked apart the pile of pebbles, sending the stones
scattering across the asphalt. Then she looked at me.
“Now you know,” she said, “how that pile of rocks was destroyed.”
I said, “You’re still mad at me for telling you that parts
of Stonehenge were restored, like other sites, aren’t you?”
“No,” she said, still looking at me. “I wouldn’t say ‘mad.’”
I had once pointed out to her that some standing stones
in Europe had been restored by archeologists
and really had not survived intact thousands of years
the way many new age guide books sometimes present them.
Standing on the asphalt surrounded by scattered rocks,
she was looking at me. The expression on her face
was the same as just before she had kicked the pebbles.
“When your face is like that,” I said, “it kind of scares me.”
She looked at me a moment longer then walked over
and put her arm around mine. Without looking at me,
she guided us back to the sidewalk. She said, “That’s good.”
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The Empire Of Kimberly’s Innocence