I was at a Medieval festival today, and there happened to be a goldsmith selling some jewelry. The jewelry was very nice – most of what she had included stones and semi-precious gems of various sorts, and I had the chance to go plundering through some of her tumbled stones. It didn’t take very long until I was drawn toward one stone – black, brown and white – that I’d never seen before. When I touched it, it was almost one of those moments like in the Harry Potter movie, when Harry Potter met his first wand … it was just a lot less dramatic – more of a really deep, intense, connected moment. For lack of better words, it was a Zen moment. When I asked what kind of stone I was holding, I didn’t recognize the name; so I bought the stone and brought it home (no way I was walking away from it). When I got home, I started looking around on the Web for more information and was stunned to find out that I was holding one of the oldest types of fossils we know of, fossilized cyanobacteria, from the time when life first started appearing on Earth.
The name of the stone? Stromatolite.