“I don’t like hearts,” a friend said, when the shape of a potential something was being discussed. This both startled (I’m so used to feeling alone in my strange dislikes) and buoyed me. My heart, as it were, leapt.
I’ve internalized (“learned by heart”) the history of the heart shape; if you haven’t, catch up here.
Sometime in my early teens it became fashionable among the girls in class to dot each i with a tiny heart. I tried it for one day and then quit in embarrassment. This was around the time when the “I [heart] New York” campaign was launched, and the word became a verb. The one use did not cancel out the other. The heart shape still feels Barbie-ish and try-hard girly to me. Kawaii, ne?
Despite my aversion, the heart has found me three times in recent years.
At some point while my kids were still at home, a ring appeared on the windowsill above our kitchen sink, gold with a purple stone that I thought was amethyst, until my daughter the Krystal Keeper informed me it was tanzanite. I think one of her friends left it behind after helping with the dishes one evening. Whoever you are, you may have it back — but I wear it on a pinky finger in the meantime. It’s delicate and pretty and so not me, but who am I to question a gift from the universe?
A few summers ago my mother gave me some money for my birthday, and I bought a gold-and-amethyst ring with it. I like gold and I like amethyst and I was into rings at the time. Not until I read the description of my purchase on the receipt did I see the twin hearts.
The most recent is the most mysterious heart of all. We had a scraggly-looking, tree-like houseplant that had become completely pot-bound. The twisted root ball was interesting, so I knocked off all the dirt and kept it (as I do) on our balcony. When it finally called to me, the first thing I saw was the heart.
My “witchy stick” has been in progress for a couple of years now, and has so far been adorned with snakeskin, silk, copper, glass and iron. The latest addition was just two days ago — some green curly-willow twigs from a tree in the yard of the very same friend I began this post with.
Perhaps it’s finished now?