Cigars were everywhere in Vegas. At the show. The casinos. The bars. Outside. I couldn’t get away from the wafting smoke save for my hotel room. It’s why I was there – to be enveloped in the industry. And indeed I was.
But also while I was there at the Flamingo, each day as I left to go to the convention, I passed a shop just as I exited from the Spa elevators to my right – Karma and Luck. I was oddly intrigued at what it was offering for sale.
Small Buddha statues, stones of various mineral compositions, and a vast array of sparkling, very alluring jewelry, delicate chains, and even clunky beads on leather strings. Each day I would pass by and sometimes the shop was closed so I was able to peer in without being disturbed – minus the glow of the halogen glister that made the contents of the store pop!
This ritual went on for several days until Thursday afternoon. From the tram, as I came closer to the shop I turned the corner to head for the Spa elevators and there it was. I was stopped in my stride as if an invisible force field held me back from moving forward by a small, sparkling, splash of color that adorned a small cross. Had it been there all along?
I gazed at its dazzling, vibrant blues of all shades – sky, indigo, powder, baby, steel, cerulean, dodger, Persian all mixed into this marvelous display of nature that I would later find to be opal.
I gently lifted the cross from its display perch but did not remove it. I only held it in the palm of my hand. The sales person saw my interest and came over to me. “Do you like it?” I said nothing. Then oddly I heard myself saying,”The colors are speaking to me.” She smiled. “May I see it,” I asked? And without hesitation, she gently took the cross and placed it on my fingers. The vibrant colors had a pull that I cannot explain. “I’ll have to give this some thought,” I said as I handed it back to her and left the store.
I caught an elevator – green arrow up – and quickly walked to the room where my wife and son were getting ready for the evening’s dinner at Delmonico’s in the Venetian. I changed my clothes and slipped on a more comfortable shirt, jeans, sandals, a spritz of Light Blue and off we went. But as we were walking through the halls I revealed to E that I had found a treasure. Coming off the elevator, the crowd was naturally pushing me back, but we navigated our way to the right where I proudly showed E the cross. “It’s beautiful,” she remarked. The sales lady, recognizing me, came over and it was as if we were huddled around a newborn – gazing, commenting, and “oohing and ahhing, “ our visual pleasure and delight.
It was not a difficult decision. “I’ll take it.” The rather heavy set, but flawlessly dressed woman whisked it away and immediately, but deftly, slid the cross and chain into a lighted stone bowl. And with another rod of the same material outlined the edges of the vessel producing a subdued whine. “I’m blessing this for you” as I’m sure I must have returned her comment with a somewhat quizzical stare. “No. You take it out. Only you can touch it now.” I placed it on a soft pillow of cotton and she put everything in a box and closed the lid.
In the meantime, E was going through a wide variety of all kinds of minerals, quartz and tumbled stones. She came upon one that caught both our eyes – magnetite. We both became fascinated not only by its appearance, but by its purported metaphysical properties such as it “enhances intelligence, mental stability, logic, analysis, creativity, memory, and psychic development. It can help you tap your own latent mental talents and abilities and is a powerful protection stone, and is very grounding.” (https://stitchesandstoneskc.com) The later property intrigued me the most.
We picked out our favorite shapes both coincidentally resembling the tip of the fang of a sabre-tooth tiger and away we went for steak and potatoes.
As we walked to the Venetian and located the restaurant, I asked E if I could have my stone from the bag. She gladly gave it to me and as I held it in my hand, the silken surface and its weight created a certain calm into my consciousness. As the group gathered and began to order drinks, I tightened my grip on the stone.