That One Bead
Rebecca Mannor, Division 1, 6th grade #ws17e-s1d1

A myriad of colors sparkle in front of my very eyes, glistening in the light. Crystals ranging from the clearest glass to the blackest obsidian mingle with every color in between. Gently caressing their cool facets and wondering with awe at their natural beauty, my fascination with natural stones puts me in a trance. Designing my finished piece in my head, the image of a long, slender silver plate with a lovely, embossed design, surrounded by small shimmering beads hanging on a slender chain, emerged.

Every gemstone or bead has a story to tell or a purpose to be discovered. The forest green Jade is supposed to help with friendship whereas emeralds are believed to support good health and protect against evil. The radiant chalcedony nurtures and promotes goodwill and brotherhood. The purity of moonstone’s pearly opaqueness frequently catches my eye. It is said to bring calmness and hope, a connection to the moon that it is named after. The meaning behind the stones and the beauty they emanate intrigue me. Slowly the minutes tick yet it feels like no time has passed at all when I let myself be immersed in the midst of these natural stones. Sharp focus consumes me as each tiny bead is threaded. Stringing the wire through each tiny bead, one after another, after another, after another, the repetition lulls me. Calmness, peace, and relaxation, my type of meditation. This is my zen moment. Everything's coming together in harmony.

With a little imagination, it is fascinating how an original piece of jewelry can be created out of almost anything. This thought comes to me as I cut long thin strips of paper, color them brightly and roll them tightly onto a toothpick to make beads. Exquisite, effervescent, eclectic, expressive. Simple, yet still beautiful. Creating new pieces of jewelry makes me feel in the moment. Gifting them to people I care about is sharing a part of my soul.

My chosen gem rests on the tray majestically, the surrounding beads paying homage. Inspiration comes to me when I obtain the bead that I can create a whole piece around, such as a table centerpiece that ties all the decorations together. That moment when I find the bead...That one bead where my story flows from... That one bead, for some unknown reasons, I am drawn to... That one bead that starts it all.
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