The point is restlessness. The protagonist was restless with her life, her marriage, and with the world around her. She was vaguely bored and unhappy, and somewhat worried that her husband might be having an affair. She longed for something good and stable and strong, but the something -- and how to get there -- was a thing she couldn't quite put her finger on.
At the end of the story, she is sitting up, waiting for her husband to come home. She cancelled plans with a friend earlier in the day, in order to go shopping for a new garden hose with her husband, because he'd said it was important. But, at the last minute, he cancelled the shopping plans and told her not to wait up. She's been watching TV, and a rather unsavory commercial has just ended. She says:
"I am glad my son is in bed so that I don't have to explain this. Of course, he will see everything someday. I cannot keep the world from him. But, sometimes, I'm afraid the world will be too much for him. It is so big and poorly planned. I want it to be simpler. I want to shop for a garden hose tonight. I want to live on a rock in the north Atlantic, herd sheep, shun make-up. I want to raise a child who will never see television, and I want men and women to love each other for all the right reasons."
I still think about this story sometimes and about the curious title I chose, which was "To Live on a Rock." As I mentioned earlier, I was young, and I was months away from being baptized Episcopalian, and certainly had no intention of acknowledging the Catholic Church. But, even then, I knew that I longed for something that was solid and true, something uncomplicated and real. I still didn't completely have the means to articulate it to myself, much less to anyone else, but I knew. (And although I was -- in some ways, regarding the searching -- the woman of this story, Atticus was not the man, I feel compelled to point out. Atticus is incapable of betrayal and he's never once canceled a shopping date of any kind with me.)
Back to the story, my story. Something was out there. Something timeless and good, stable and strong. Something that made sense of love and marriage and relationships and promises. It attracted me, beckoned me, and was slowly pulling me closer. Over time, it unfolded, and my path became clear.
And now, I know.
I know what it means to live on a rock. The rock of my faith -- the Catholic Church -- is the thing that is solid, true, uncomplicated, real, stable, strong, and helps me make sense of marriage and promises. It shows me how and why men and women can love each other for all the right reasons.
I am there. Still a work in progress, of course, but I know my address.
I yearned to live on a rock.
And now I do.
Thank you, God, for a happy ending to my story.