Giving rocks

Near the end of our walk around the Plett burbs today, Kit refused to be in her hiking carrier anymore (yes, we were using a hiking carrier for a very relaxed walk and yes, my wife told me that people would judge me for it being overkill but I like the way the hiking carrier allows me to carry some of the weight on my hips rather than in the front like a traditional carrier and so hiking carrier it was). I don’t care if people judge me about the carrier. Really. But hypetetically, if I was embarrassed by it… You know what would be even more embarrassing than carrying your child in a hardcore hiking carrier for a casual stroll? Carrying an empty hardcore hiking carrier on a stroll while your one year old practices her slope walking on the lawn verge.

Our return walk became very slow, what with Kit wanting to walk on the road rather than the grass, and us having to shepherd her back to the lawn. And it may have been due to this pace or Jess may have very good eyes (she doesn’t, her glasses are a signature look) – but Jess noticed a rock in a flower bed. Picking it up, she saw that on the back of it was a message: Post a pic and tag us on Insta. Rehide. I won’t share the handle here for reasons that shall become clear soon.

Before bed tonight, I mentioned the rock to my dad. I picked it up and showed it to him and, doing so, noticed that the rock had been painted on (I initially thought the rock was naturally marked like that). My dad seemed indifferent to the find. Disinterested even. He said, “I found one the other day on the beach.”

“What did you do with it?” my mom asked.

“I left it there,” he said.


“They should be arrested,” he said, completely seriously.

“Arrested for what?” I asked, in hysterics.

“For defacing beautiful things”.

You see, my dad has somewhat of a Marie Kondo belief about certain inanimate objects. Marie, for those that don’t know, encourages you, among other things like putting things back in their place, to thank your jacket for keeping you warm before lovingly hanging it back and placing it the cupboard. When I write this, I’m not mocking it. I’m with Kondo – or at least, the idea doesn’t seem absurd to me.

How is my dad like Kondo?

Today, after my brother’s kayak, my dad commented that the kayak was very happy.

“Why?” my brother asked.

“Because you took it into sea”.

Today’s rock isn’t the first rock that my dad has had strong feelings about. Once on the Otter Trail, he saw that a group of hikers had taken rocks from a rock pool and used it to prop up their grid for their braai. He carried the rocks back to where they were found. When someone asked him why, he said that the rocks were much happier there.

Another instance: He made the new owners of our Johannesburg home (where my mom and dad lived for close to 30 years) promise that they would clean the rock bird baths regularly. I say regularly. If it was up to him, he would’ve insisted on daily. Here, in Plett, his new home, he does exactly that. He cleans the one on the beach path every. day. He then fills it with fresh water. The birds come. And the birds are grateful for the clean water. How do I know? Because of how many come and how often. He told me the other day that he found a beautiful yellow feather on the rock where a weaver had been.

Here’s the photograph for today (it’s a little of a cheat because my dad took this photograph but I had to run defense… steering Kit away from the waves, catching her (most of the time) when she was heading face first into the shallow water, telling her to ran to her grandad.)


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