January 2015

Illia Thompson

We chose the day for a picnic, assuming an outing at this place would be an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. Enjoyable changed to splendid, onward toward fantastic, to the superlative!

Clouds opened to reveal light show in the heavens, the ocean offered primordial mists, and the play between rocks and sea and sky became a performance of wonder so great that I became hesitant to leave. “One more drive by the shore,” I requested on our way out and was driven slowly along the almost deserted roadway, aware of the ever-changing scene. We parked near the only other car present, and then walked toward our view. Spray came close enough to taste, as we watched the ever-higher breaking waves crash on the time-worked cliffs.

We noticed two people by the tide pools, faces down, obviously searching. We thought it magic be sea glass, so popular lately. We walked near each other and I asked. “Are you finding something?” “Yes,” the response from the woman. “We are collecting heart-shaped rocks, to bring to a friend whose mother just died. She loves hearts.”

Immediately my mind goes toward my jewelry box. Inside, a small, about an inch square, stone in the shape of a heart, an agate polished to a lovely sheen. I noticed it recently, admiring its variegated beauty and silken softness before I carefully put it back without recalling how I received it, and feeling that it would remain where I had found it that day.

At Point Lobos, as the evening began to approach, I felt that stone heart pull at me, reminding me of its existence. I spoke, without really thinking. “I have a stone heart, in tans with flecks of brown. I would like to give to you. You can take it to a jeweler and have him make a ring that will hold a chain so she can wear it. By the way, what color is her hair?” “Yellow and shades of brown.” I was told. Yes, I knew the heart is going to the right place.

I took her address, promised to send it off the next day. I felt the giving of the heart such a small gift in comparison to the received gifts of the day. Upon arriving home, all fell easily into place. I found a small white box, cotton lined, wrapped the heart in brightly decorated rainbow tissue paper, included a small golden angel that fits on a lapel, given to me for safe travel. Carefully I closed the box, with those two gifts destined for someone I knew not, and wrapped it for mailing. Even though a storm threatened the following morning, I was third on line at the opening of the local post office, making certain the gift would find its destination shortly.