A Game of Stones: Keeping Your Balance in a Topsy Turvy World


Perhaps you have never noticed them. I didn’t for a long time, until last fall as we were traveling somewhere, my wife pointed them out. Of course, she was in the passenger seat and I was keeping my eyes focused on the highway, most of the time.

Another rock pile on NH Rt 104What we saw very few miles or so down NH Rte 104 several odd, neatly arranged piles of rock. Stones atop one another, some precariously balanced and in random order. Occasionally there were big ones placed on small or ones teeny ones atop monster rocks followed with an impossible large chunk, turned on edge and standing unsupported.

These stacks of stones you occasionally see alongside the road are not a haphazard act of nature. They were placed there for a reason.

 I wanted to get to the bottom of this pile, so to speak, and I started as many of us do by checking the internet.

According to Wikipedia……”Rock balancing is an art, discipline, or hobby (depending upon the intent of the practitioner) in which rocks are balanced on top of one another in various positions. There are no tricks involved to aid in the balancing, such as adhesives, wires, supports, or rings.”

 Well, that pretty much covers the definition of said ersatz cairns. But the question of “why” nagged me.

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