ON FAWN ISLAND, as with many rocky outcrops in the North Country, the bedrock is creased with veins called ‘igneous intrusions.’ This particular white streak is composed of milky quartz. I once wrote of these intrusions in a book called ‘Paddle Whispers’:
“In the morning I explore the little island more completely, and after circling it, arrive once more at the band of rose quartz. It comes up from the water’s edge, amid bushes of fragrant sweet gale and leatherleaf, and winds its way through the granite and schist. The vein sparkles with crystals the color of pasture rose petals. An igneous intrusion, geologists cal it. A place where a molten finger of lava once flowed, pushing its way through a crack in the already existing bedrock, the pink color perhaps the result of contact with iron seepage from a subterranean hematite deposit.
Intrusion. An odd word for so beautiful a phenomenon, something so integrally a part of the North. It makes me wonder how much of the beauty of my own life I often miss by thinking of it as … intrusion. The vein of quartz reminds me that it’s often the intrusions that give to life its color, its sparkle and its beauty. The intrusions can become a part of the bedrock. And if they were all removed, what would be left—a perfect, seamless whole, or a broken assortment of unfilled cracks?”