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For a Red Earth to Flower

Red Flower Rain Cuff Front Resized

The earth is red here, the heat even moreso. On a day when the temperatures were projected for only the eighties, we have long since passed ninety. We have a few brave green shoots emerging in the garden, plenty of hardy wildflowers . . . and yet rain has been notable only for its absence.

Until I sat down to write.

It’s as though today’s featured work finally coaxed the heavy gray thunderheads above us at last to release a little of the burden. What began as a few scattered drops here and there has transformed itself into a light be steady rain, even as the sun escapes the clouds’ edges, washing the land in a light that is as blinding in its intensity as it is scorching in its heat.

This is summer in this place, a land of harshly contradictory extremes.

It explains, perhaps, why the wildflowers thrive despite the dearth of moisture to date. They are as strong as the landscape itself, having evolved and adapted not merely to tolerate the harsh weather and climatic conditions, but to welcome them. It’s why, against all odds, the Indian paintbrush has loomed early; why the sunflowers are nearly ready to bud.

Its a legacy of strength memorialized in today’s work, big and bold as the desert landscape, and yet as delicate in its patterning as the wildflowers it honors. From its description in the relevant section of the Bracelets Gallery here on the site:

Red Flower Rain Cuff Side 1 Resized

Red Flower Rain Cuff Bracelet

A monumental cabochon of red flower jasper serves as the focal point of this magnificent unisex cuff. The stone, a warm, earthy rose shade with a mulberry and charcoal matrix of dendritic wildflower blossoms, is set into an elevated scalloped bezel, trimmed with twisted silver, and accented with a tiny chatoyant tiger’s eye cabochon at one side. The cuff, wide and weighty, features a hand-stamped row of matched thunderhead symbols chased along the center of the band, flanked at either edge by a single row of thunderheads. The band itself tapers slightly at either end for a comfortable fit. In the inner band, morning stars and other celestial symbols are scattered like constellations tossed across the pre-dawn sky. Band is 1-11/16″ across, narrowing to 1-3/8″ at either end; the bezel is slightly wider, 1-7/8″ long by 1.25″ wide; the visible portion of the stone is 1.5″ long by 1-1/8″ wide (dimensions approximate). Other views shown above and at the link.

Sterling silver; red flower jasper
$1,550 + shipping, handling, and insurance

 

Of course, as befits an otherwise hot dry midsummer’s day here, the rain has already stopped. It was just enough to tamp down the worst of the dust; not enough to get anything actually wet. For us at the moment, that is a blessing: We have yet to get half of the hay in from the fields, and a soaking rain would be profoundly damaging. But we’ll welcome the small shower gladly; it’s enough to soothe the earth’s abraded skin, and cool us slightly with it.

If the revised forecast holds, the real rain is now promised for Friday. For now, it’s sufficient water for a red earth to flower, and that is enough.

~ Aji

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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