I used to have a neighbor who collected rocks. He is older than me by 10 years (I think, I was only 9 back then.) and is named Erwin.
He always has a ready smile, is chubby, with a moody pet iguana.
I am fascinated by his rock collection that he proudly displays on his window. (He believes in crystal healing.) My best friend Joanna and I usually troop to his place to look as his box of rocks, its like a museum trip, he explains what the rocks are, where he got/brought them, the highlight of his collection was a amber with a prehistoric insect in it.
Most of his rocks are quartz crystals, that he gets from caves. They look like these:
While I like the crystals, I am fascinated by those that have color. I like the purples and pinks and those that have bright blue colors. I also discovered what geodes are.
Got to know a bunch of stones like ruby, sapphires, amethyst, moonstone, tiger’s eye, hematite, pyrite, opal, jade, turquoise, coral, lapis lazuli, cats eye, spinels, etc. While we like going to his house to check out his collection, at times he thinks we are a nuisance, after all we stay there for hours, he never got angry at us.
One summer day he announced that he was moving out. We were sad. Well not really that sad but sad in a way that we know, there ain’t going to be any looking at the rock collection anymore.
On the day he is going away, he handed out a goodbye present for Joanna and me. He gave us each a rough quartz crystal. Which we kept in a pouch and cleaned with saltwater once in a while. Till we forgot all about it. And our attention was moved to beading with glass beads till we encountered the glittery Swarovski crystal beads, that we made into our bracelets.
I loved our crystal bling! Joanna and I went on to creating more shiny crystal bead pieces to wear, that I seriously thought the crystal Erwin gave us was worthless. It doesn’t shine, it is rough and lets be honest here not as pretty as the polished and faceted crystals. But I kept it because of the sentimental/childhood treasure value. I rarely ever clean it anymore. Its been where I kept it for more than 15 years.
Till I saw a booth on the mall selling crystals. Quarts crystals like the ones Erwin used to collect. Like the crystal I have at home.
They were rough, but the are really shiny, I guess it was cleaned frequently. I stooped down to look at the rocks. The smallest quartz crystal was priced at 3,000+ php. I thought to myself, hey, my crystal is bigger than that…. so it means it is worth more.
Woah! It really was a treasure after all! Even without the flashy bling! Reminding me not to take everything at face value.
Sad thing was, we never knew where Erwin went. We did not remember his surname, we cant even find him on facebook.
But really, Kuya Erwin, thank you for the gift and the life lesson.
“There is all the difference in the world between treasure and money.” ― Roderick Townley, The Great Good Thing