Vacation last week ended with a few days in Sedona, Arizona.
We—the seven of us who travel together every summer, five of whom are family—wanted to see the array of red sandstone formations, visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross which appears to rise out of a one-thousand-foot redrock cliff, experience the famous energy vortexes, and go to Tlaquepaque. We also wanted to go to nearby Jerome, “America’s Most Vertical City.” Jerome sits up on a 5,200-foot hill, built into the side of it almost. It is on top of what was once the largest copper mine in Arizona and now it’s a bustling tourist magnet and artistic community of writers, musicians, hermits, gift shop proprietors, and artists.
The four girls in the group wanted to shop! We like to look for jewelry made out of local stones by local artists. I was determined to find a ring. I didn’t quite know what I wanted. I wanted lots of silver. I wanted a special stone. I always look for meaning and symbolism. I look for “signs.” Signs that relate to something significant and let me know I’m supposed to buy this particular item.
I walked up the incredibly steep incline of the hills of Jerome, stopping every five steps to get a breath, and looked in shop after shop. In between trolley tours and dining out, I went to every shop in Sedona along Highway 89A, some two or three times, just hoping that magic ring would somehow appear. But I couldn’t find anything really special.
And then. In The Humiovi, which carries jewelry, kachinas, and pottery by Native American artists, I browsed Dry Creek turquoise, White Buffalo turquoise, and Boulder turquoise. Nothing struck me. Until Jodi, one of the shop’s salespersons, picked up a ring and put it in front of me. “Try this one. I have one like it. We can have friendship rings.”
“The carving on the side is ‘the journey’—the journey we take to get to where we need to get. The circle of life.”
Well, that did it.
“I just wrote a book about a journey,” I said.
“What’s the name of it?”
“Remember the Dragonflies.”
“Why did you write about dragonflies? They’re messengers from heaven, you know.”
I knew. I told her I wrote about my five-year journey of loss and grief and healing after my husband died.
I bought the ring. She bought two of my books.
The ring features Sleeping Beauty turquoise. The mine, now closed, is seven miles outside Globe, Arizona. The stone is a favorite of Zuni Pueblo lapidaries and silversmiths for the purity in color—a solid light blue. Other stones in the ring are lapis, spiny oyster shell, red apple coral, green turquoise, and magenta turquoise.
The lapis stone is a royal blue, much like my sapphire birthstone. It is believed to offer protection. It is also for self-expression, writing, creativity, and dream insight. Spiny oyster carries the meaning of peace of mind and patience. Red coral is for confidence, courage, and vitality. Native Americans believe green turquoise is sacred; it is used in ceremonies and grants good fortune. Magenta turquoise provides a nurturing vibration which allows for the screening out of hostility, anger, and fear.
Any way you look at it, I think I’m set.
Thank you, Jodi! And thank you, Sedona!