People come into the store sometimes and ask, “What’s your favorite?” gesturing to include everything in the store. I always have such a hard time answering that question quickly because I love all this stuff. I love the fossils, the minerals, the jewelry, the gems, the awesome books. All of it.
But the answer is simple, really, after a second or two. It’s the agates. I have to say I love the agates most of all. I love the Brazilian agate slices, dyed or natural color, and the cool wind chimes made from them. I love the Botswana agates, Montana agates, moss agates, blue lace agates, crazy lace agates, polka dot agates, Laguna agates, purple lace agates, holley blue agates and the Oregon beach agates. I pretty much love them all.
I have a particular affinity for agates. I find them wherever I go. I can be walking on a downtown sidewalk, feel an impulse to look down, do so and see right below me an agate between my feet in mid-stride. Then I understand why I felt the need to look down. And I’ll sometimes have a will to “free” the agate from it’s “imprisonment” in the concrete, maybe let it ride around in my pocket for awhile, then liberate it to the agate party going on 24/7 in the big pile in the corner of my front yard. The metaphor I’ve come to employ is that they call to me, or that I hear their song. This is even how I find them when I’m on an agate hunt. It’s not so much by sight as by some silent sound. My head moves around, up, down, back and forth, much as it would were I trying to locate a flying insect by sound in a quiet room. And only after this operation is carried out, typically, do I “sight” the agate.
While I enjoy this talent, what can one do with it, other than have hours of fun at the river or on the beach? Well, I suppose in Ancient Mesopotamia such ability might have been a marketable skill. Sumerian cylinder seals, the photo ID of that era, were made predominantly of carnelian. Carnelian is a form of agate. I find carnelian all the time. There’s a piece embedded in the concrete of the street in front of my home that I see every time I get into or out of the car. 4000 years ago, the ability to find carnelian without trying might have been a moneymaker. But now, in the modern era? Not much more than a hobby. Fun for me but, so what?
Unless you work at a rock shop, the rock shop in the town where you live, which I do. That’s why I’m here: because I love the agates. They’re my favorite stones of all. And I’ve no doubt they love me, too. There are sure a lot of them that want to come home with me.