I went on an adventure this past Sunday; a search expedition of sorts. My friends Billy and Dodee Crockett own a gorgeous place in the Texas Hill Country, Wimberley to be exact, called Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio. It is their home, a state of the art commercial recording studio and the scene of arguably the best House Concert series in the country. It is a place created to nurture the artist’s soul; a place of grace and a place that I feel blessed to be whenever I am there.
The icon of Blue Rock Studio is literally the Blue Rock; a huge piece of limestone standing ten feet tall and fourteen feet across in the middle of Lone Man Creek. The house and studio look down on “the rock” from high above — at least they did. Last Wednesday night fifteen inches of rain swept through Wimberley and swept the Blue Rock downstream and out of sight. What do you do when your icon vanishes overnight? When that thing that represents your hopes and dreams just disappears? Surely something that big can’t just evaporate into thin air?
So Sunday afternoon a small group of us gathered to hike down to the creek and see if we could solve the mystery of where the Blue Rock had gone. It was a gorgeous day with bright blue skies and just a hint of fall in the air as we began the descent, armed with cameras and our curiosity.
The hike down is really more of a scramble. There is no trail; the hill is steep and the footing iffy in places, especially after the storm, but we all managed to clamber down without incident. Evidence of the storm was everywhere; trees uprooted and heaped up where the rising creek had left them; piles of rocks that had been sent rushing down stream with the flood waters; places where the steep banks had given way to come sliding down, leaving mounds of debris.
An hour or two of exploring up and down the creek brought us no clear answer. There were a handful of large boulders, some looking like they could possibly be a piece of the beloved Blue Rock. Lots of photos were taken to try to match to older photos of the rock. Still, as we headed back up the hill the whereabouts of the Blue Rock still remained a mystery. It didn’t seem likely that it could have been taken beyond the bend in the creek. It’s possible that it could have been broken into several pieces or perhaps one of the large rocks we spent time climbing around on was indeed part of the original.
At the end of our demanding climb up from the creek we sat down to share a meal and reminisce. With two esteemed singer/songwriters among us in Billy Crockett and David Wilcox there had been talk of this adventure needing a song. Sure enough as we ate David would occasionally scribble something down on a scrap of paper he had brought to the table. Eventually he got up and went into the other room where his guitar was. A short while later he came back and proceeded to play us a brilliant song to commemorate the significance of the Blue Rock. It was a very special moment.
I drove home that evening feeling a tremendous sense of gratitude for having been a part of that experience. The storms of life can wreak havoc sometimes. They can also bring beauty and a chance for new beginnings if we’re able to open our eyes to it. As David Wilcox so eloquently put it “the rock” is not gone. It may be further down the river but “it’s in the walls and in the spirit, in the soul and in the sound.”
Amen to that…
“The Big Blue Rock” by David Wilcox