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Amid the Earth’s Ribbons and Fringe

The heat has receded suddenly, with lows now plunging to forty-five overnight, but the drought continues unabated. We went from a forecast of an 80% chance of rain yesterday to a 0% chance by evening, with perhaps a hundred raindrops in between. There were plenty of storms in the area, but they all circled and split around us, with the town’s edge getting a few moments of downpour while we got barely enough to settle the last puff of dust.

We have never seen our world here so dry and dull, so much brown unrelieved by brighter shades.

Two or three of the lower-lying areas, those right around the house, are fringed with long green grass, a product of the gravitational tendencies of what little rain has fallen. The pond remains stubbornly empty, though, and the ditches dry — no blue and silver ribbons fluttering across the land this year.

Such color as we do have is all out of season, green leaves turned gold too soon, or the blues and blacks and white of winter birds coupled with the early arrival of a lonely monarch.

Our world here has exchanged its vibrant traditional robes of summer for far more conservative dress.

I suppose it’s fitting in other ways; this was, after all, the year in . which the annual powwow was canceled at the last moment, with no warning to anyone. The land here did not ring with its usual summer song and drum, vibrate with the usual dance. No bright dance shawl needed by, nor even available to, Mother Earth here this year; she has been lucky to have a ribbon shirt or two to wear for the season instead.

Today’s featured work embodies this humbler desert style, one that finds beauty in dry rock even as it summons such water as may be found to flow in the slimmest of shimmering ribbons across it. From its description in the Earrings Gallery here on the site:

Ribbon Shirt Earrings

Mother Earth wears a ribbon shirt of streaming blue waters and silvery light. Wings honors her regalia, and the beauty of our natural world, with these spectacularly mobile earrings built around a matched pair of high-grade ribbon turquoise cabochons. The stones manifest in the warm dusky shades of rock and sand and dust, pale ivory and warm tan and deep rich veins of brown, each bisected by a fluttering turquoise ribbon like a river reflecting sun and sky. Each stone is set into a scalloped bezel and trimmed with twisted silver. From the base of each bezel, by way of hand-formed sterling silver jump rings, three long silver ribbons dance: Made of delicate yet solid sterling silver half-round wire, each of the six ribbons is meticulously stamped in a repeating pattern of butterflies fluttering down their considerable length. Earrings hang 2-7/8″ long overall (excluding the sterling silver wires); cabochons are 7/8″ long by 1/2″ across at the widest point; dangling silver “ribbons” are 1-5/8″ long by 3/32″ across (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver; high-grade blue ribbon turquoise
$875 + shipping, handling, and insurance

We may have little to shade our world this year in its customary greens and yellows and reds — still less in the silvered blues of rain and river. But while we conserve such water as remains, while this season of colorful feast and dance draws inexorably toward its close, we may still dance amid the Earth’s ribbons and fringe . . . instead of the rain, in a fall of dust and light.

~ Aji








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