So in Part I of Reminiscence, I stumbled on letters from a college friend Linda.
One summer day, probably in the late
1980's, Linda brought me a necklace that she had found at the Chapel Hill Apple Chill Festival. It was a clay pendant that featured a salamander. It was attached to a card that described how salamanders, or maybe geckos, are a symbol of transformation/metamorphosis.
It was not an expensive piece but I loved it. The message of transformation resonated with me then. I'd left graduate school in psychology -- a decision that felt like failure at the time, even though I was academically successful. I was working at a bookstore and wondering what on Earth to do next. At a point in my life when I was trying to find out who I wanted to be, it was the perfect gift.
Stuff floats in and out of my life. Losing and finding things is part of my MO -- I lost my graduate school diploma, I lose my wedding ring (off and on), and important paperwork appears and disappears.
Losing things is a habit and I've learned that most things can be replaced. But I've had this necklace for probably thirty years. I wear it on days that are significant to me. I wore it when I was married. I wore it my first day of work in PA. I wore it to my dad's funeral. It's not a lucky charm, and I don't think of it as something that will change anything that is going to happen -- but it has a certain power for me, a power that I assign it, and maybe that Linda gave it, in giving it to me. It's a treasured thing.