Thursday, January 24

Of Loveliness and Lockets

There is something innately feminine about a locket. Ornately carved to delicately open revealing something truly special inside. It reminds me a bit like a rose ready to bloom or a secret garden locked away. It's mysterious and treasured and absolutely lovely.

I got my first locket (as far as I can remember) about 4 or 5 years ago. And, actually, I received two lockets at the time. My mother was cleaning out her jewelry drawer and had come up with an assorted collection of pieces she wanted to give me. Small gold charms, some chains, and two beautiful lockets. One held the tiniest cut-outs of my sister and I--our preschool faces snipped into little heart shapes. The other lay empty. The first was a gift from my father, the second, a gift from my mother's father to her mother. Both failed relationships for all intents and purposes, but both beautiful representations of what love could be.

My third locket was given to me last week by my dear grandmother (on my father's side). A rectangular-shaped locket from the 1800's with a weighty chain. Carved with cursive initials on the back and a quaint farm scene on the front it reminds me of a story left untold. Which is, honestly, what it is--for inside rests two very old and very faded pictures. I was given the locket under the condition that I could figure out who the two people were inside it. And after looking through old pictures and names, we still are left with questions.

Lockets are that way--mysterious and always hanging there with questions.

I can't tell you how many times I have worn my lockets around children. They would stare at it with unadulterated curiosity and beg to let them see what's inside, or just to be told what it holds. Only rarely would I open it for them (and children are among the few I feel safe to share their secrets with at all). Children have a way of understanding the preciousness of something--no matter how small or trite it seems to others. And to their credit--they would even nod understandingly and leave the subject alone if I only elusively told them it had something important inside.

Perhaps we all need a deeper love for lockets. Perhaps we need to open our eyes to the beauty and mystery around us and the depth of emotions and thoughts in each other. To develop a curiosity for what lies tucked inside the heart, and to gently peek inside. And perhaps, like little children, we need to bravely ask to see what is behind the surface, and to wait in understanding until it is opened to us. I think that then we won't be left with empty lockets or failed relationships or beautiful stories left untold. Instead we'll have something intensely treasured and absolutely lovely.

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