Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hope Blessing Ring

The weather is fabulous today, so I took a short walk around my neighborhood. On the sidewalk a few blocks away, I found what looked like a metal washer, except that the hole in the center had an X through it. I picked it up and turned it over, discovering that the X was the crossed part of a ribbon, molded from the same dull-gray pewter. It had been stepped on a few times, and the top of the ribbon's loop had been scraped along the sidewalk, making it rough and jagged, but also brilliantly shiny.

Around the washer were inscribed the words, "Hope Blessing Ring." Since the ribbon had no special color, it could be interpreted as an awareness ribbon for breast cancer, AIDS, or any other cause one wanted to align it with. Since it wasn't obviously intended for any single cause, I chose to interpret as an overall hope blessing for any and every aspect of life.

I resumed my walk, flipping the ring in the air and catching it as I tend to do with any little thing that happens to be in my hand. I fumbled a catch, though, and the ring bounced off my fingertips and into the grass of the unnamed park (really just a triangle of grass with a graffiti-covered park bench and a twisted, smashed tree bearing the wounds of many storms). I dug through the grass for a while, but never found the ring. So I guess I wasn't meant to have it.

I like to imagine that it will find its way to someone who needs a blessing of hope. And that could truly be anyone. In what time or place has there ever been a person who did not need hope?

Maybe a year from now some kid with a metal detector will find it. Maybe twenty years from now, a construction worker digging the area up to lay a foundation will spot it glinting in the dirt. Maybe a thousand years from now, it will come into the hands of an archaeologist excavating a landfill. Maybe it will never again be seen by human eyes, and the blessing was just for me, the person who dropped it on the sidewalk, and you few who read this blog. Who can know?


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