There’s a particular Beach in a relatively sheltered bay on an Island in Maine where you can find seal stones. They’re camoflagued, so not very noticeable nestled in amongst all the other regular looking rocks.
It’s their color that first catches my eye, a particular shade of grey that sails along in front of rolling storm clouds, dotted with some splotches of darker grey spots. One I think I’ve found one I pick it up and roll it around in my hand – it’s all about the feeling, the smoothness against the plan of my hand. The shape is important too, like a little hill, like the body of a seal if their head and tail were tucked in, although sometimes they can be a little fatter and rounder – but don’t let that throw you off when your looking.
It only takes a couple of seconds to work out if a stone really is a seal stone or not, and quite often in those seconds as your enjoying the smoothness of the stone a circular head might appear from under the waves to silently watch.
But what are seal stones you might ask? Have you ever heard of silkies I’d ask in reply. There are wonderful tales from the west coasts of Scotland and Ireland which tell tales of seals who leave the water on moonlit nights, stepping out of their seal skins to emerge in human form. The silkies keep their skins in a special place (because they can’t return to the sea without them) and cover them over it’s seal stones.
Silkies live out their human lives within easy reach of the coast. No matter what they’re doing – cooking dinner or hanging out washing to dry they can feel every tidal pull, and can close their eyes and feel the ebb and flow of underwter currents. One day the song of the sea will be just too strong and they will leave their warm houses on the shore with the soft flickering glow of the Woodstove and head to the beach, to their pile of seal stones, slither back into their seal skin and dive silently beneath the waves.
So if you find yourself on a beach in a relatively sheltered bay on an island in Maine (or on any other coast for that matter) and think you have found a seal stone hold it close and silently whisper all your worries into it carefully placing it back where you found it (this is very important as we wouldn’t want to hinder a Silkie finding their skin) and as thanks the Silkie will unload all your worries, carrying them down to the bottom of the sea where they will dissolve into the cold iinky depth never to resurface.