The earth used to be a LOT different from what it is today. Step back a few years. Let’s say we’ll go back about 400 million years or so… to the Devonian Period. At that time in history, Michigan was located at the Earth’s Equator. A warm shallow sea covered the State. This type of water-body was an ideal habitat for marine life. Like coral reefs. I just can’t imagine. But it is true.
Anyway…. today, part of those reefs have become fossilized. It is kind of cool how it happened. It got really cold. Really, realllllly cold. And then…. sheets of ice plucked these stones from the bedrock, grinding off their rough edges.
It is special, you see. This specific fossil coral is found only in a certain type of rock strata (called Alpena Limestone.) Found in Michigan, of course. The outcrops of these rocks are restricted to the Little Traverse Bay area near Petoskey.
I have one of those stones. I know….. at times, I can be so very Coolio. I am the envy of the neighborhood at this point. But back to the rock.
The history of the naming goes way deep… back to Indian Legend. Without going into every detail, the Petosky Rock… this fossil-thing… is named for an Ottowan Chief. His name was Petosegay…. and it meant “rising sun”, “rays of dawn” or “sunbeams of promise”. It would not have been as snappy, if he was named Floyd, or Abner….. or Perry.
The Chief ended up being a wealthy fur trader. He gained a whole-big-kaboodle of land… not to mention great acclaim for himself and his tribe. And now that is in the area of Petoskey Michigan.
So as you can see.. my love for rocks extends. I am lucky to have one of these. I think. And, here is the reason I think so.
A friend gave me this stone. And much like this story… this person is pretty extraordinary. Serendipitously… she is a lot like Petosegay. A rising sun, a sunbeam of promise. A person of great character, and kindness. Much like the rock, she is one of a kind.
Sometimes, I think life’s little gifts can be completely outstanding. A few days ago, I knew nothing about the Petoskey Rock. I didn’t even know it existed. Now I have one, and I am forever reminded of the goodness of the person who gave it to me. Seeing it on my desk, makes me think of all these exceptional human qualities.
It could never be a simple paper weight. Oh no. This stone is more like a life gauge.
And it rocks.