A Stone Necklace for Mother Earth

Abby’s necklace on display

Stone Necklace Made by Abby

This necklace was created by a little angel lady named Abby. Abby is eight years old now, but at the date of this creation, she was a mere three, as reported by her mother, Shirley. The necklace was made during a trip to Nova Scotia, the stone having been found on the seashore.

The stone itself is remarkable, shaped like a rough-hewn heart. On one side, grey and rough, like a fine emery board, on the other side, silken-smooth and white  as though someone iced it with vanilla fondant, the kind you see on perfect white wedding cakes and Tim Horton’s Strawberry Vanilla donuts.  If you look closely at the grey side, you can see tiny glints of quartz-like sparkle. Flip it over and you’ll find the smooth white surface gouged through in a couple of places, a lightning bolt of chalky robins-egg blue across the middle and a fleck of pink in one corner.

Abby's necklace up close
Abby’s necklace up close

The stone hangs on a length of thin, brown twine, the kind I imagine shopkeepers used to tie packages in a long-ago era. It feels papery, rough, and very, very  strong. The rock is fastened to the twine with a length of slender grey wire carefully twisted to secure its position, criss-crossed over its surface and wound into a tiny, tangled knot. At first glance, the stone looks precarious, as though it may slip out and be lost, but in fact, it is quite secure, as Abby fashioned three thoughtfully spaced strips of wire across its back. It’s like one of those carefully architectured dresses that women sometimes wear: you wonder how it can look so floaty and not fall off.

At the moment, it is hanging from the rearview mirror of my Soccer mother Toyota minivan. I like the way it banks sharply to one side when I turn a corner, the way it swings gently, like a pendulum when I slow to a stop. Then it returns to centre when the road is straight again.

It was actually Abby’s mother, Shirley, who gave it to me. Shirley was sitting outside the school gym the other day, making handcrafted teacher’s gifts in the sunshine while our cheerleading daughters sweated it out inside. She handed it to me, saying “Here you go, Mother Earth. You should have this” or something to that effect. She explained that the necklace had been languishing in her craft kit for some years now. The ‘Mother Earth’ reference comes from a sudden insight that Abby had one day, a few weeks back. We were all on a bus trip to Pittsburgh along with about a hundred and twenty cheerleaders, our daughters among them.  Abby was along for the ride and gamely took on the job of team mascot.   A few days after the trip, Shirley reported the following conversation with Abby:

“Do you know that mother named Lisa,” Abby asked.

“Yes, why?” Shirley asked.

“She likes Mother Earth,” Abby reported.

“Oh? How do you know that?”

“She likes falling leaves and windy days.”

I don’t know who was more surprised by that revelation, Shirley or me.

We’re not really sure what inspired this insight. Perhaps it was the taupe trenchcoat I wore on the bus trip, topped with massive striped scarf against the cold. Perhaps it was my messy (read: windswept) hair. Perhaps it was that I gave up my seat so that Abby and her small-in-stature buddy could see the movie playing on the bus media system without having to stand up. That’s the kind of thing a Mother Earth would probably do, give way for the smaller creatures.

We’re not sure, but I’m grateful for the Mother Earth Stone Necklace all the same. When I look at it, I am reminded of nature and wonder and kindness.

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