This week’s re-post Diamond in the Rough is from November, 2011. I chose this one not only because it’s a favorite among readers but also because the beautiful journals that I mention below are very close to becoming a book. A Kickstarter Campaign has been started to help defray some initial start up costs. If you have a few minutes please visit
Diamond in the Rough
This week I can’t help but be thankful for the people in my life, my children and our health.
It’s a tradition in the school I work at, to celebrate each year’s accomplishments at a Stepping Stones ceremony in June. Throughout the year some of the faculty collect beautiful stones from a wide variety of places for each student to pick from.
A few years ago, one of our senior graduates turned the tradition around. He’d gone mining earlier in the year and instead of just taking a stone for himself, he gave each member of the faculty and staff a Herkimer diamond. It was a touching gesture.
He passed away a little over a year ago.
This particular graduate was an extraordinary human being. I knew he could write, memorize and recite complicated monologues. But it wasn’t until his memorial service that I discovered the breadth of his artistic abilities. It was there that I was given a glimpse into just how talented he was. I didn’t know he had such an incredible eye for photography or that he whittled the pieces of an entire chess set out of wood or fashioned a beautiful wooden flute for his mom. He also made grand bags out of leather and bark and created with glass. He made beautiful marbles and knives. He was quite the unique individual and his art reflected that. In this technological age of all things electronic, he was a breath of fresh air.
He was a diamond in the rough.
Recently, his mom who is also an artist, had an art exhibit entitled 100 Hearts in his honor. I have three.
I spent a few days with her this summer at our place in the woods Upstate. I read her beautifully drawn journals, the ones that try to put into perspective what her daily life is like now without her son, how her grief is endless and how grateful she is for the time she had with him. As a mother I am in awe of her strength sometimes and heartbroken by her loss, always.
Just before the Thanksgiving break, I was in her classroom and she handed me a small bundle of tissue. Beneath the folds of the carefully wrapped paper lay not one but two of the Herkimer diamonds her son mined that year.
One is clear and small. The other is larger and contains rare impurities. Both are beautiful in their own special way. Heart stop.
Needless to say thoughts of this young man and his spirit have lingered with me all week-long.
Gratitude. Be happy for what you have — right now.
This week in particular, I’m thankful for the people in my life, my children and our health.
Hug your diamonds in the rough today.
Photo Credit #1 Hearts By Goldy Safirstein/Going On- A Book About Life
Photo Credit #2 Gratitude
Photo Credit #3 Stones
Photo Credit #4 ©Karen Szczuka Teich & Takingtheworldonwithasmile.com
Photo Credit #5 Children
Photo Credit #6 Book Cover by Goldy Safirstein/Going On- A Book About Life