Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Whitewash coverup

The pianist and I live on a moraine soil that of course has a plethora of rocks of all sizes. In over thirty two years of tillage and digging and raking a large part of this acre, many of these treasures have been uncovered. I never found a rock I didn't like. They are almost always round, since they were ground up and rolled down the mountain in days of yore to create the moraine. I use the rocks "au naturel" to bank flower beds ,slopes for interplanting and to outline my homely little features. When I was a boy it was "de rigeur" on the prairies to whitewash your rocks. Every civic center, all the railway terminals,RCMP stations ,centenary parks and many businesses had whitewashed rocks. They were supposed, then, to be ugly in their natural state, so were covered up by liming! This was a job I did at the stations we lived in. Whitewash became part of the lexicon for coverup of things you wanted to hide( Matthew 23,25). It is an old variety of "lipstick on the pig" . Whitewashing structures, as well as sins, must have extended well beyond our little prairie towns, since Tom Sawyer was whitewashing Aunt Polly's fence, even before my days of yore. I cannot now ,get over how prissy that convention of whitewashed rock gardens gave. What's more, you had to whitewash repeatedly, or the truth eventually became exposed.


  1. I never met a rock I didn't like, either. We have to dig a bit to locate our rocks, they don't grow atop the ground.

  2. I love rocks. And lucky for me, I have several farmer friends that don't! Natural rock surfaces give texture and interest to the landscape. I couldn't imagine having them and making them all white!