Patsy Porco

Why I Love Opals

In Gemstones on March 25, 2012 at 1:42 am

I love surprises. I will go to extremes to allow others to surprise me. You could park my dream car (a red Chrysler Sebring convertible with a tan cloth top) covered in a sheet in our driveway, and I wouldn’t lift the sheet. One of my sisters told me that she always peeked at the Christmas gifts that our parents hid in their bedroom closet when we were little. I was shocked because it wouldn’t have occurred to me to look for presents. And even if I had happened upon gifts, I would have been sure that they weren’t from Santa. My parents were very specific about what Santa brought, what he didn’t bring, and his policy on gift-wrapping. We were told that Santa only brought toys, and he never wrapped gifts; the buying of non-toy gifts and the wrapping of presents were parents’ responsibilities. So, even if I did notice a barricaded closet door in my parents’ room during December, I never would have opened it. I didn’t want to ruin my surprises.

I think that’s why I love opals. When I was sixteen, my family moved from Philadelphia to Ohio. One of my best friends threw me a surprise party and all of the invitees presented me with an opal ring. I loved that ring. I don’t know what happened to it, but I never forgot it. I loved the stone, and the friendship that the ring represented. More than thirty years later, I asked my husband for an opal ring. I’m wearing it now. I love it. I love it because my husband and my mother picked it out. But I also love it because it recalls a wonderful part of my life.

Another thing that I love about an opal is that it conceals a burst of joyous color, just barely visible under its milky surface. Sometimes I want to split it open and reveal its secret. Other times, I’m just happy to know that its possibilities are right there, barely visible under the surface. That’s why whenever I look at my ring, I’m inspired. Opals, to me, signify the joy that is always awaiting us. Just like red Chrysler Sebring convertibles with tan cloth tops.

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