i_love_freddie: (Cory)
There is nothing like waking up to find that there is a new topic ready to write about. I admit it, I was excited. So I immediately headed over to the relevant post only to be greeted with: coprolite.

"Is that even a real word?" I asked my brother. He wasn't sure either, so curiosity drove him to look it up.

(As an aside: Looking up random words on the internet can seriously be bad for your emotional well being. My friend once googled gingerbread men and found a website with gingerbread people in various sex positions. Scarred us for life - I wish I were kidding.)

"Yep. It's fossilized animal dung."

Well, at least it isn't a boring topic. Once I started to think about it, I had two separate thoughts. Neither of them are exactly on-topic, as such, but since both were inspired by me thinking about coprolite, I am going to share them anyway.

------------


On my kitchen windowsill is a small wooden bowl, and that bowl is full of rocks and pebbles. Some are round and smooth, some have a rougher texture. A few are dark in colour, some are lighter. Most of them have some kind of pattern on them. One almost looks like a piece of frosted glass. I don't think any of them are fossilized animal dung, but since I have no idea exactly what that even looks like, I can't really say for sure. I am pretty certain that these are rocks. I collected them with my grandfather in September 2006, while we were on holiday in Seatown, Devon. When I look at them, I can remember us sitting there together by the sea, examining the patterns, and choosing the most interesting ones to put aside to bring home. I didn't know it at the time, but that was our last holiday together... he died in March the following year, and nothing has ever been quite the same since then. But when I pause and look at those pebbles, or touch them, I think of the beach and I can still recall the many happy childhood holidays that my brother and I spent with him.

The second thing that came to mind was being young and at school. I always struggled with school, because I could never fit in with the other children - they thought I was weird, and I guess I was. As I got older, about 11 or 12 perhaps, I began struggling quite a lot with academic subjects: mathematics and science in particular. I was so busy trying to understand and not fall behind that I forgot to take a step back and look at the fun things I had enjoyed as a younger child. Like the time when we left a banana outside and examined it every few days, keeping a record of how it had changed. Bunsen burners and chemicals had their place, but the simple experiments were far more exciting.

In the last five or six years, with depression clouding my mind, it has been so easy to forget about that little kid who loved science experiments involving blackened banana and mouldy yoghurt. That kid loved fossils and yes, would even have gotten excited about the prospect of finding some coprolite. Hell, that kid would have started a collection of the stuff!

I miss her.

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