Let’s skip across the pond together

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”~Mark Twain, American writer

Over at Haiku Horizons, this week’s haiku prompt is pond. It brought back this memory.


My Dad taught me how to skip stones. I remember my family going on a day-long retreat with our church, held outdoors in a nearby park. After a burger-picnic lunch, Dad and I walked down to the water. Was it a pond or a small lake? Whatever its official name, he walked along the shoreline looking down at the sand and weeds.

“You want to look for a stone like this,” he said, holding up a flat stone, “but you want it to be smooth and not too big.” When he found one or two, he showed me how to hold the stone: between the forefinger and thumb. With a flick of his wrist, he flipped the stone onto the water. It bounced then skipped three or four times before plunking into the water.

It was my important role to find more stones for us, and I could never collect too many for us. He set aside the ones that weren’t good enough, telling me why he didn’t choose them: too rough, too small, too large, whatever. He showed me how to hold my wrist sideways so I could get a good angle to brush the stone against the water. My stones plopped a lot, but anytime a rock skipped more than three times, I considered it a success. Dad’s longest toss was seven skips away.

Years later, I taught my friend, Dawn, how to skip stones, just the way Dad had.


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. readinpleasure
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 07:36:34

    Nice memories. :-)


  2. Vagrant Rhodia
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 16:35:31

    Beautiful memory fit perfectly into poetic form :) Love it!


  3. Candy
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 19:09:05

    What a precious memory


    Jun 01, 2015 @ 21:44:30

    Oh wow–this one made me misty-eyed.


  5. loricarlson66
    Jun 06, 2015 @ 15:23:07

    Such a beautiful memory! I cannot remember who taught me to skip stones, but it sure is a lovely pastime, searching for the right stones and then seeing how far they will skip. I enjoyed this very much!


  6. Alice Keys
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 03:08:25

    Delightful. I enjoyed the narrative quality of your poem.


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