9.15.2016

gravel


I wonder if children still play with gravel.

The road I grew up on started off in the dirt variety, put off to the side and surrounded by fields in Rib Mountain, Wisconsin. It was paved early on in my life - I know this from photos, not memory - but gravel on each side of the road remained. Research tells me that there are at least ten types of gravel, and I believe this kind is referred to as 'crushed' or 'shoulder' stone. From Wikipedia:
"Crushed stone: rock crushed and graded by screens and then mixed to a blend of stones and fines. It is widely used as a surfacing for roads and driveways, sometimes with tar applied over it. Crushed stone may be made from granite, limestone, dolomite, and other stones."
I used to sit at the side of the road and draw lines and shapes in it for what seemed like hours. This is how I met a neighbor girl from across the street - Amanda. She had stopped at the edge of her property to see what I was doing, and I looked up, and her face was blocked out by the setting sun, and we said, 'hi.' My brother and I were frequent visitors at her house, for a time, because her family had cable and we all watched Kids, Inc. It featured the likes of Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Eric Balfour, and Fergie, and is not at all what I remember.

I don't recall the family's last name.

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I was also enamored, I remember, with water slowly trickling through dirt and grass. Likely from a hose. I'd view the water's slow progression as if I were watching a vast landscape from an extreme bird's-eye view - the grass was an entire forest, and the water was a flood.

I was reminded of this years later while watching Werner Herzog's Lessons of Darkness where shots of mountains were actually close-ups of tire tracks.

I don't look at nature like this anymore.