My late husband, Bill Knoble, was a potter, and a geologist, stonemason and mountaineer. It makes sense that he was adept at stacking a cairn.
He always had a reason for making one. On the trail, he might put together a cairn if the path was unclear. On the farm, cairns began to dot our hayfields—clear markers for us when we were on the tractor with a mower or rake or baler: avoid this spot, beneath lies a rocky outcrop.
The cairn pictured here has been guarding such an outcrop for the last decade. I want to call it “she” because I see a matronly farm wife in profile. Whether on the tractor or on foot, when I spot her in the back meadow, I smile.
For now, she is a bit of Bill that remains.