Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Diamonds and Dirt

Mary let out a startled scream.  "My diamond!"  "My diamond's missing!"  Everyone ran over to her.  Sure enough, her large diamond was missing from the ring she wore on her manicured hands.  Frantically, we began searching.  We went over every square inch of the carpeting.  We shook her dress, hoping by some miracle it would drop out of a fold.  We patted papers.  We moved staplers.

When we had looked everywhere, we did what people do when they don't know where else to look: we scanned the ceiling.  It was no use.  We couldn't find the diamond.
 
Prosperity

Mary was deflated.  The ring in which the diamond had fallen out of had been her mother's, handed down after her mother's passing.  Not only was the diamond valuable in monetary terms, it was also sentimentally valuable.  We were all saddened by Mary's loss that day.

Then, about two weeks later, another woman let out a startled scream.  "A diamond!"  "There's a diamond in this file!"

Perle d'Or

Of course, we all knew whose diamond it was.  Mary was cheerfully summoned.  I'll never forget it.  The smile on her face shone brighter than the diamond that was miraculously found that day.

Some say that diamonds are a girl's best friend.  Perhaps that is true for some women.  Some women, like Mary, wear diamonds well.  Their hands are soft.  Their nails are the perfect shape, and painted the perfect shade of soft pink.  Their diamonds go perfectly with their never-a-hair-out-of-place coiffure, and a piece of lint would not dare disgrace their dress.

Gruss an Aachen

I am not like Mary.  My fingernails are cut short.  Most of the time there is dirt under them.  I have scratches on my hands (and most of the other parts of my body, too) from rose thorns.  My hair has twigs and leaves sticking out of it more often than not.  And my clothes are generally, at best, described as comfortable.

So, when my husband and I were shopping for diamonds before we got married, I wondered what the jeweler was thinking.  My sweet, loving, adoring husband kept urging me to try on a large diamond.  But I just kept thinking about my hands digging in the dirt, and of Mary losing her diamond.

Mutabilis

I chose the smaller stone.

Probably only gardeners can relate to my choosing dirt over diamonds.  (And of having continually dirty fingernails.)  But, I'm happy with my choice.  Look at all the beauties in my garden!  To me, they are just as lovely as any gem.

Flower carpet 'Appleblossom'

Which would you choose?  Diamonds or dirt?

(The photos were taken a few days ago, before this last cold front.)



57 comments:

  1. Wow, can you write great concepts, or what? Shapes of hands, shines of diamonds, feel of dirt / soil...interesting contrasts.

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    1. I always look at people's hands. If they are perfectly manicured, I don't expect them to be the type to dig in the dirt. Of course, if someone has achieved both, I would love to know their secret! :)

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  2. I choose both diamonds and dirt! Seriously, you can totally have the best of both worlds. I love using a sturdy pair of garden gloves but I know a lot of people who just like to use their hands. There are many similarities between diamonds and plants; like diamonds, there are so many plants in our landscapes that are beautiful and irreplaceable. I love them both!

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    1. Ah, to have both would be dreamy. My husband says his grandmother would garden dripping in diamonds, and her hands were beautiful, but I sometimes wonder if she mostly just supervised the gardeners! I wear gloves more often than not, but I always seem to find a weed to pull, or a rose to deadhead, or a plant that needs watering just as I'm going out, so my fingernails continually give away my preference for dirt! :)

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  3. Indeed they are Holley, and a lovely story too :)

    I would have both if I could, both are things of beauty and valuable in their own special way :)

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    1. Yes, you make a good point. Perhaps gardeners that love beauty also love diamonds sheerly for their delicate beauty, too!

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  4. What a great story Holley! I'm so glad your friend found her diamond.

    I was never interested in a solitaire which would get in the way and I don't wear my jewelry in the garden.

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    1. We were all so happy when Mary's diamond was found. I know just replacing it would not have given her the same sentimental pleasure. I wear the same jewelry whether I'm going out or gardening, so it's not much!

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  5. Holley, your described portrait is very common for most of gardeners. But rose is a gardener's joy!

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    1. Roses don't last as long as a diamond, but you are right - they give the gardener such joy!

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  6. How funny...my rings are at the jeweler right now getting fixed because I lost a diamond out of my anniversary ring and I wanted to shore up my wedding ring because I was afraid I'd lose it in the dirt, too. My rings are about the only jewelry I wear and they, like my fingernails, usually have dirt under them. Beautiful rings on my hands probably looks about like a sow carrying a silk purse, but it is what it is. I like 'em both.

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    1. Oh, Toni, you have just described my hands - like a sow carrying a silk purse! Perhaps that's why I don't feel I need a lot of diamonds. They would just call attention to the dirt under my nails! :)

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  7. Hi Holley, honestly I would love to have both the blooming diamonds in the garden and the real one on my finger :-). But if I had to choose I always would pick the garden over the ring! 'Prosperity' and 'Gruss an Aachen' are truly rose gems!
    Christina

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    1. I love both of these roses. Gruss has done very well in my garden, and although Prosperity is fairly new to me, it has really stolen my heart!

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  8. It's dirt first for me everytime!! Not much of a jewelry wearer anyway! I much prefer 'gems' in the garden too. Your story made me smile - I was so pleased that Mary found her stone :)

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    1. I couldn't believe it when Mary's diamond turned up! I was certain it was gone for good. I, too, loved that she got it back. We were all so happy for her.

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  9. I wear a simple gold wedding band. We paid less for my ring than I paid for the last Japanese maple I bought. And I am just fine with what that says about me!

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  10. I'll take the dirt every time. My diamond spends most of its time in the jewelry box. When I was a child I remember mother losing her wedding band in the garden. The diamonds were just chips. Mom and Dad were married during the thirties. She found her ring while planting the garden in the spring . I'm not sure if it was planted for one year or two, but the diamonds were still tiny. Mom was just really glad to get it back. She thought it was gone forever!

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    1. How fun that she found it again! The only thing that would have been better if the diamonds would have "grown" while they were planted. Of course, then they might have become "rooted" there! ;) Love your story!

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  11. Dirt everytime for me too. I always fear being invited out during the summer months knowking that my short sleeved frock will reveal arms that look like they've been in a fight with Edward scissorhands himself. My nails too are etched with grime no matter how hard I scrub at the end of each day and my bath awash with other peoples bugs, grit & foliage. Happy? You bet I am? x

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    1. "arms that look like they've been in a fight with Edward scissorhands himself". You have just described me! :) Isn't it wonderful to have something we love so much!

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  12. My choice is dirt and gardening. I have short nails and comfortable clothes as well...

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    1. I am often embarrassed about my clothing if people drop by unexpectedly, but I couldn't imagine gardening without getting totally covered in dirt! So, comfort all the way for me!

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  13. no diamonds. Just the 'simple gold band' for both of us. I chose a pearl necklace, that I love (Pearl of Bedfordview and Oyster Pearl are 2 roses that I grow)

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    1. Ah, pearls. Such a classic look, and a beautiful product of nature. I wonder why pearls are not used more often instead of diamonds. Not enough marketing, I suppose!

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  14. I have to admit, I like diamonds AND dirt. But was I ever taught a lesson a year and a half ago, when I was doing a little light dead heading, didnt put on my garden gloves, and OH MAN! that vicious bee came out of the ground and stung me GOOD! I was wearing my three -diamond engagement ring, my diamond and sapphire anniversary band and my wedding band. I was stung on the knuckle of my ring finger! All three had to be cut off my finger - the Doctor said it was to be the rings or my finger. Just goes to show that diamonds and dirt dont mix well!!

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    1. Wow - what a terrible experience! I can not imagine how terrible that must have felt to have three rings cut off of a swollen finger. Obviously, diamonds and bees don't mix either!

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  15. I don't wear a diamond either. No ring at all, even though we both have wedding bands. Jewelry just gets in the way, especially if you are out planting. I have a diamond finding story.

    I potted up a plant to give to my mother-in-law and when she unpotted it to plant in the garden, there was a diamond engagement ring in the pot. She called to brag she found it there, but do you think she would give it back? I was pretty sure it was my neighbor's ring that she lost some time back. The plant I dug up was on my property on the neighbor's side of my house. What could I do? I really haven't talked to my mother-in law since.

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    1. That's a terrible story. I can not imagine not trying to get the ring back to its rightful owner. What a position you are in, too, having to see your neighbor without being able to say anything!

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  16. I am one who usually wears a "dirt manicure". Some years ago I gave up having perfect nails in favor of having a real lived in garden where I could dig in the dirt to my hearts content. However, since my illness I do have to wear gloves when working in the garden. Dr's orders!

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    1. Dirt manicure!! hahaha I do try to wear gloves, but for some reason, that mud just seems to get in anyway!

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  18. My husband gave me a diamond mined in Canada. It has a microscopically small polar bear carved into it to authenticate the origin. I rarely wear garden gloves so the bling only comes out for more sedate occasions.

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    1. How interesting! I've never seen a diamond with something carved into it. What a special gift!

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  19. I will admit I am trying to always make sure I wear gloves now in case I lose one. At least it should drop it the finger of the glove. :)
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Smart thinking! That would probably work! :)

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  20. My wedding ring (plain white gold band) rarely leaves my finger, except when I take it off to clean it. (Like when I was painting the back of the shed and I got red paint on it... Ooops...)

    Personally I think there are very few occasions when a man might wear diamonds so I don't have that particular issue, but I do think there's no reason why a woman shouldn't have a rock AND a garden if she wants to. After all, both are about beauty and love...

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    1. Well, I hadn't thought about having both types of "rocks"! :) You're right - both are about beauty and love. What a lovely statement.

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  21. Your post was fun and so are the comments. For me, it's dirt over diamonds. No reason to draw attention to my hands, which look about as you'd expect them to. Plus why have something expensive if it's just going to sit in a drawer, which it would.

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    1. I hadn't thought about the diamonds drawing attention to my hands. No, I don't need that at all! :O

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  22. I wear no rings and its dirt for me...always has been since I was a wee one....you have the loveliest gems Holley with those roses.

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    1. Maybe instead of buying diamonds, people should think about buying land instead. I think that makes much more sense than something just to wear on a finger!

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  23. Good post. We never did get an engagement ring, only the wedding rings. When we were married we had no money and it was all we could do to buy a decent wedding dress (floral print) and suit. Judy has never said or done anything to indicate she wanted a diamond ring. Now that money is not as tight there are other things we'd rather spend it on.

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    1. I think if people waited a while, hardly anyone would spend their money on a diamond. But I might be looking at it through a gardener's eyes. ;)

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  24. Dirt. Before I became a gardener I always used to wonder why people with dirty fingernails couldn't be bothered to clean them. Now I understand why.

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    1. hahaha - That is truly funny. I know people wonder why my hands look like they do!

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  25. What a wonderful post! Everyone who knows me well knows I pour my money into the garden. My hands are doubly doomed, for I am a gardener and also a neonatal nurse. So if not covered with dirt, my hands, which must be extremely clean at work, are bathed in alcohol foam! I can't wear my rings at work, and I also take them off while gardening. And when I do wear them, I'm afraid my dry, wrinkly hands don't do my diamond wedding ring justice.

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    1. What wonderful things your hands do! Create beauty in the garden, and hold life in the hospital. That's quite moving.

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  26. Another great post. For the last ten years I have chosen dirt. When my pseudo-husband ( we never did officially tie the knot, if it ain't broke don't fix it) asked me to marry him he had no ring as he didn't want to assume what I would like. Instead I said, no ring please, I'd get it dirty. Now I have a garden full of flowers and still no ring but couldn't be happier.

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    1. Instead of a ring, he gave you a garden. I think that's beautiful!

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  27. O, what a funny story, I had not seen this post yet. Well, I once got a diamond ring of my mother, but it's put away in a cupboard. I rather would like to have more land, flowers, trees and so on. Jewels look beautiful but are not my cup of tea. My hands look awful with often dirty nails and black grooves in my fingers which I almost cannot get clean. So no diamond ring for me for it fits as a flag on a broomstick.

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    1. Diamonds are beautiful things, and really, should have beautiful hands to show them off. My hands certainly don't do them justice. I think for most gardeners, their hands are just not the typical diamond modeling type!

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  28. I have to choose dirt - I gave up the diamonds and pearls a long time ago. The earth has so much more to offer than all the diamonds - I am an earth girl! Love the post!

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  29. Great story - I'd go for the dirt every time, like you, I have permanently dirty, scratched hands and just wear a (now also scratched!) wedding ring.

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    1. Yes, I forgot to mention how scratched my wedding band is! Almost as embarrassing as my scratched-up hands! :)

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