Learning From a Rock


This is Morro Rock in Morro Bay. It was formed some 26 million years ago. It is a volcanic plug that formed at the mouth of an active volcano, virtually choking the volcano into extinction. It was originally situated in the bowels of the volcano. Over the next 23 million years, the mountain on which the volcano was located was melted away by erosion and washed into the sea. Today, all that remains is the dacite rock from the old lava.

In recent times, people have been quarrying the hard stone and were slowly chipping away at Morro Rock. Had this not been stopped, this mountain that took millions of years to fashion would have disappeared in a lifetime or two.

Standing before the magnificence, I was awed by the meager moments I have lived compared to the many eons this rock has survived. I count the years I have lived. This mountain has counted the tons of soil and rocks that have been eroded from it.

And yet, had the destruction not been stopped, this splendorous beauty would have been quarried out of existence by men. I am saddened that we do not care for earth as well as we should. We see beauty and grandeur around us, formed over millions of years, and we destroy and ruin these over our short lifetimes.

As I gaze at the rock, I wonder if it really is unfeeling and not aware of the humans standing in awe at it. If the Morro Rock could talk, what a story it would tell of the 26 million years it has been in existence. And indeed, I did learn some lessons and felt unfamiliar feelings just gazing at its majesty and magnificence.

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