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The Earth In Full Bright Flower

Red Flower Rain Cuff Front Resized

This week is marking a shift in seasons, in space and time.

Colder spring winds will no doubt return, but for now, summer is here, a warm and still-gentle spirit seeming to awaken and revive our small world with a touch so light as to be virtually imperceptible. Even the straggler aspens have begun to surrender to the caress of warmer winds, the green emerging on their upper branches, blinking, into the light.

We will need rain soon, of course.

Despite the presence of monsoonal cloud formations, no rain is in the offing anytime soon. The pond dries as fast as it fills; the earth is dusty, more ash than loam. Irrigation is an open question this year: There may not be enough water for it. If not, the rains become all the more crucial to our summer food supply, and the past few months hold our little promise of return on that front.

And still, the flowers bloom.

That is one of the great gifts of this high desert land: a bold brave breath of life and strength of spirit that induces, even compels, flora and fauna and people not merely to endure, but to thrive in its harsh extremes.

It’s one of the characteristics that today’s featured work seems to embody. 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 below.

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

It’s a work built around a stone in the shades and shapes of the desert, vibrantly alive in the colors of red earth and fire, atop a band set with the symbols of the most powerful of rains. It’s a work for the summer season, as elemental as it is stubbornly alive.

But in a place such as this, it’s too easy, too facile, to reduce life to labor, to constant battle and resistance. This land, and the people who belong to it, have always done more than merely survive; to whom the spirits give a place, they also give the means to live in it, live fully, in joy and abundance.

Intervening circumstances have complicated life for all of this lands’s indigenous beings, of course. Invasion; colonization; commodification; now, climate change, a Fourth Horseman arrived in no small part due to the concerted efforts of the previous three. So there must perforce be resistance, and occasionally more, if life as it was given to this place and people are to be sustained. It requires work, yes, but it is also cause for celebration, for living life to its fullest.

There will be much work ahead.

For this moment, though, the air is gentle, the sun warm, the earth in full bright flower, and it is beautiful.

~ Aji









All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2018; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

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error: All content copyright Wings & Aji; all rights reserved. Copying or any other use prohibited without the express written consent of the owners.