Tuesday, June 03, 2008


My husband came back from a trip to Chile last year with a present for me: earrings in lapis lazuli, a stone Chile is famous for. Pat didn't know the name of the stone, but my research on the internet convinced me it was the famous "lapis lazuli" mined in the Chilean Andes. I was thrilled to own something so fine.

The other day, however, I was preparing to take a shower, and as my nature is to do things with great vigor and little care, I pulled off my sweater (vigorously) and one of my lapis lazuli earrings came with it. I knew it had to have happened just then because the earring backing was still stuck behind my right ear lobe. Thinking it couldn't have fallen far, I shook out my clothes, searched the floor on hands and knees, thoroughly looked through the waste basket, on top of the dresser, in the open dresser drawer, combed the bathroom, but all to no avail. I slowly came to the unhappy realization that my earring had simply disappeared into thin air and wasn't coming back. I took it as a God-given opportunity to "let go" of material things.

Soon afterwards I left home for two weeks to help take care of my new granddaughter Julia and daughter Patricia while Pat traveled to Chile and Paraguay. I secretly hoped he would bring me another pair of lapis lazuli (which he didn't).

The Tuesday after I returned home I was hurriedly cleaning the bathroom--vigorously and carelessly-- to make my goal of fininshing by 5:30 p.m. so I could go walking with a neighbor lady. As I cleaned the sink I noticed something stuck in the drain. The only thing I could see was what looked like an upside-down thumb tack. Thumb tacks are rare at our house, especially in the bathroom, so I jabbed at it with the end of an old toothbrush I was using to clean the drain. Once, twice, it resisted my pokes, but on the third try I heard a clink as it fell out of sight down the drain! I thought nothing of it, finished my cleaning and went for my walk. DAYS LATER IT DAWNED ON ME THAT I HAD PROBABLY BEEN LOOKING AT THE POST TO THE LAPIS LAZULI EARRING!!!!! Of course, what a dummy I'd been. That earring had been stuck in the drain all those days waiting for me to find it, yet no one had seen it. I was crushed. To have come that close to recovering my earring, only to let it slip away was hard to bear. It was GONE now, forever. (Our bathroom pipes are made out of PVC and are ram-rod straight with no way to open them up.) I had released my earring to the Lord, but all of a sudden it seemed like it was supposed to be mine again. (Okay, so I give it to you again, Lord.)

Since then several questions have come to mind:

1) Why do I have to do things so vigorously and carelessly?

2) Why wasn't I curious enough to look calmly and carefully at the object in the drain?

3) Why did I come soooo close to finding my lapis lazuli only to lose it?

You may find this incident silly and certainly inconsequential, but is there a lesson here for me?

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I don't like this story. I kept anticipating a happy ending. It doesn't have one. Lessons to be learned: 1. Have a different septic system next time. 2. Make your husband buy you ample supply of Lapis Lazulis.