Erratic A, somewhere near Haliburton, Ontario.
My father was a high school teacher who over the years taught many subjects. The one he carried around in his head for sharing was geography--specifically, physical geography. As we drove the complex, glaciated landscape of southern Ontario, he would point out drumlins, signs of the great Oak Ridges Moraine, the ancient shorelines of the vast ancestors of the Great Lakes and the deep valley spillways that fed them. But for whatever reason, perhaps because they were discrete and therefore more easy for a child’s mind to comprehend, he delighted in pointing out erratics, the eroded rocks carried atop and within the ice sheets, eventually to be unceremoniously dropped in a foreign place, there to stay until dynamite, heavy machinery, or another ice sheet came along.
We rented a cottage in the Haliburton Highlands when I was somewhere in between the present ages of our children. It had its own erratic, which determined where the driveway joined the road. We walked that road a lot, and probably always commented on that rock as we returned.
“That’s an erratic, right?’
“Yes. That’s an erratic.”
“The glacier brought it here.”
“Yes, it did.”
“And now it’s ours?”
“Yes, it’s ours.”
We never got tired of that. Good rituals are small, but about things huge.