A Stone’s Throw


into the hike. My wife, who puts hik­ing in the fall at the top of her list of fa­vorite things to do, re­minded me how we had hiked when we were first dat­ing. I moaned and groaned about want­ing to watch foot­ball, but as the sun glis­tened atop the leaves I was swayed to join her.

As our hike pro­gressed, I had to ad­mit that the fresh fall air and un­ex­pected warmth made the time in the woods rather en­joy­able. I glanced over at some kids play­ing near a stream. One of them ex­claimed that he had found some shells. My wife loves shells, so she jumped up and walked over to see for her­self. Sure enough, the kids were right. There were shells in this south­east­ern Ohio stream. She grabbed one and held it up like a prize.

I be­gan to look around for shells also, and although I saw a few, what re­ally caught my eye was a per­fectly flat stone on the ground. In an in­stant I re­called skip­ping stones as a kid. Watch­ing a flat stone skip across the top of the wa­ter seven or eight times was like watch­ing some sort of magic trick.


I told my wife she could keep her shells; I had found some skip­ping stones. She gave me a puz­zled look and asked, “What are skip­ping stones?” I showed my find to her and told her to watch me as I flung the stone so that it hit the wa­ter and then skipped along the sur­face sev­eral times.

She looked on in amaze­ment and asked, “How do you do that?” I gave her a quick les­son. Af­ter just a few at­tempts, she was a pro.

For a cou­ple of per­fect min­utes I stood be­hind my wife and wrapped my arms around her waist. I could tell she was con­tent and proud of her new skill. I was glad I was there to share in it. We had so much fun, we hadn’t no­ticed the sun fad­ing be­hind the trees.

As a boy I thought skip­ping a stone was mag­i­cal.

As a mid­dle-aged man, shar­ing this mo­ment with the woman I have loved for over 20 years was be­yond mag­i­cal. That’s the beauty of life. The sim­ple and un­ex­pected mo­ments are al­most al­ways the best ones.

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