By the river skipping rocks,
Is where I spend the currency of my worries and toss them with a devilish grin. -Eddie Cabbage
Here we are on holiday for a week on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We are renting a cottage on a small bluff just above the ocean and next to a picturesque lighthouse. Very quaint and this time of the year, the off-season, there is hardly anyone on the beach. Imagine the opportunities presented by a deserted beach!
“What are you doing, Dad?”
“Well, you probably can’t hear them, but the rocks on this beach are crying out for skipping. Rocks are made to be skipped!”
So began my daughter’s adventure in learning how to skip rocks. Skipping rocks was a big part of my childhood as my younger brother Jim and I would practice for hours seeing who could get the most consecutive skips out of a single rock.
Skipping rocks across the surface of the water is not just child’s play. There are lots of big stuff involved, like the physics of the proper spin on the rock. The mechanical alignment of arm, hand, trajectory and of course the shape of the rock. Too light and it doesn’t have enough momentum (Force=Mass*Acceleration), too heavy and it reduces the number of skips. Too thin and it can turn the wrong way and sink; too thick and it creates wind resistance. Lots of adult things to consider.
But those things never crossed our minds as kids. It was just fun to skip rocks. I think it’s in our “young” DNA, which unfortunately gets replaced with “adult” DNA as we get older.
So, it was great to relive my youth with my daughter on the beach and teach her how to skip rocks. After trying to explain the proper way to hold the rock, the best type of rocks, the best angle to throw, I finally gave up explaining and just watched her, made a few coaching comments and finally, an excited shout from a delighted 12-year old. “I did it! Did you see that? I’m a genius!”
When was the last time you skipped rocks?
Tight Lines . . .
John R Childress