Monday 23 March 2020

What good is jewelry in a crisis??

Image credit, ABC

It's like a disaster movie.

People are sequestered for days, weeks, some for months on end. There are rumors of military troops on the ready, shortages in stores, and a medical industry that cannot adequately prepare for the upcoming months due to lack of equipment. Downtown streets, normally hustling with thousands of people are empty, the stock exchange is in turmoil, retail businesses are shuttered for an indefinite time period, and school yards are empty. People are scared.

Image credit, Mercury News
I spoke to some relatives in Poland earlier today. They have been quarantined in their 450 sq. foot apartment for over a month. My 91-year-old relative hasn’t been able to leave the apartment and relies on her son to bring her essentials every day. The medical infrastructure in their town of half a million people has been overwhelmed for weeks, with no sign of improvement in the near future. She is the ideal host for the virus, she is older, physically vulnerable, and lives on the 11th floor of a densely populated, close-quartered apartment high-rise. As I was preparing to offer what comfort I could, she surprised me with her trademark optimism saying -

"But you know what? The flowers on my balcony are beginning to bloom and I am anticipating their beauty and smell. Nature just continues on. Where my flowers are, I find joy."

I paused and thought on this incredible woman.

I am practicing social distancing with the same veracity of anyone in America. I am able to FaceTime with my friends and family and Zoom with my co-workers. I pray for my family, my community, my country and the world daily. I worry for the retail workers who cannot earn, I worry for the truck drivers who are sometimes unable to find a meal, and especially for anyone who has been affected directly by the Coronavirus. Amidst all of that, I had already forgotten, I think, what Henia from Gdansk made perfectly clear:

Focus on the beauty around you. 

Don’t forget the little things that make you smile. Never let an external force steal the joy from your life.

I, like millions of people worldwide, find a profound joy in jewelry. Diamonds, especially. The science geek in me is still enamored by angles, percentages and inverse-proportion light performance. The artist in me is still intrigued with the light spectrum and brilliant white flashes that are created.
Image credit, Iridescent Flame
While transactions may have slowed, while purchases may be paused, and our lives are altered, nature continues. People will celebrate (as best they can) birthdays, anniversaries and engagements. Love will still blossom and excitement will build as relationships grow stronger.

Like Henia’s balcony flowers, I can find my escape periodically into the world of gems and jewelry. My “flowers” are diamonds, classical music and good wine. If all of us pause for a second to discover our own metaphorical flowers, it may make this entire ordeal a bit easier.

Thank you, Henia for reminding me that passions and distractions help us deal with life’s worries – where your flowers are, you’ll find joy.

Image credit,
- Brian, Director of Consumer Education, B2C Jewels


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