turquoise mornings


When we went to Todos Santos early in our visit to our cousins here in Mexico, I saw a bracelet in a shop of silver jewelry. It wasn’t delicate. Maybe it wasn’t even pretty. John said it was clunky. But when I put it on my wrist, it felt right. It was expensive. Maybe I could pay a little less for it but then again, I might see something else I liked better. If you know me, you know that I love bracelets. I have lots of them, silver mostly, though a few are beaded, with turquoise and lapis lazuli. My favourite is a silver one from Mongolia, a man’s piece, about a hundred years old, enameled in places with blue, green, and yellow. So I don’t need another. I talked to the man about the source of the turquoise used in the bracelet in Todos Santos. He said it was from Sonora, from a mine in (I think) Cananea, where the turquoise appears not in veins but in clay deposits. Its matrix is mostly quartz. Turquoise is a soft stone and is often stabilized by soaking the stones in a non-toxic solution to bring out the colour and to make it easier to polish, then fixed with a resin or epoxy.

So I didn’t buy it and we went off to La Paz for five days. I thought I might see another bracelet I liked. I didn’t. But I saw that blue everywhere. On our last day in the city, we went by boat to Isla del Espirito Santo to look at the sea lion colony there, the bird colonies (magnificent frigates, brown pelicans, yellow-legged gulls, blue-footed boobies), to swim on a beach where the water rippled like sunlight on turquoise, and so when we came by bus back to Todos Santos, I knew I’d need to look at the bracelet again.


While we were in La Paz, I’d been asked to do a couple of small writing-related activities once we return home next week, and was it a coincidence that they would pay almost exactly the price of the bracelet? I wonder. So we walked to the shop and there it was, still on shelf with its more delicate (and maybe more elegant) associates. Did I still love it? Yes. I am not small but I have small wrists and still the bracelet was a little snug. No problem for the man in the shop who attached few links to the chain by the clasp. Cousin Peter bargained gracefully on my behalf. When we went to lunch after, before returning to Peter and Sharon’s home at Cerritos, I kept noticing, with surprise, the blue stones on my wrist. With surprise, and with pleasure. “What you seek is seeking you,” said Rumi. A bracelet on a shelf in a small shop in Baja, my wrist.

6 thoughts on “turquoise mornings”

  1. Theresa, the bracelet looks lovely. One has to seize these opportunities, especially as one gets older. Lucky it was still in the shop. Imagine if you had not got it, wishing for the rest of your life that you had got it! But would you have got it if it had been green?

    1. I knew I’d regret not buying it and am really glad I did! But green? There’s a turquoise from the Sonoran mines that’s kind of lime green. It doesn’t appeal to me in the way this colour does. And this colour is everywhere around me right now. Ocean, sky towards sunset, textiles…

  2. I too was haunted by turquoise on a visit to Santa Fe years ago. It was never a stone that appealed to me here in the northern light of Canada, but something about the quality of light and the contrast of adobe and sky there made the colour exactly the memento I needed. Mine too was expensive but I’ve never regretted buying my talisman. I’m glad to know you collect bracelets which I’m sure each came with a story. Perhaps there’s a piece of writing brewing?

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