Meeting Eduardo was a delightful surprise. And so, for that matter, was the green obsidian.
On a bright summer afternoon, I walked down an El Centro street just after a lunch with my friend Barbara. In that moment I was in a very good mood. The city streets were already quiet by then, as many shops had closed at 1 pm. Sunday starts on Saturday here in Ecuador!
I casually noticed a young man sitting on a stoop as I passed him. He appeared to be one of the transient travelers often seen on the downtown streets, selling their handmade jewelry to make money. About four paces past him, I was stopped in my tracks. A voice in my head said clearly, “You MUST go back. This young man needs your help.”
I continued to pause and I listened. The direction was repeated. I have learned not to ignore my intuitions, so…
I about-faced and walked back. He looked up from his work and smiled warmly. Rather than displaying his jewelry on a ground cloth, he had devised an upright stand so it could be viewed at eye level. Aside from his beautiful handmade necklaces and bracelets, he was also reselling some cheap trinkets. The first thing to catch my eye was a small, silvery Eiffel Tower.
Thought to self, “Ah yes. Paris. Some day…” But, I knew buying a $2 charm was not going to make Eduardo’s day a whole lot better.
I continued to look. Many of his necklaces featured turquoise. But as much as it is my favorite stone, nothing really grabbed me. Then suddenly, Eduardo handed me a necklace from the other side of the stand. And the moment my eyes fell on it, I knew it was meant for me. Sleek and smooth, largish and tear-drop shaped, the stone set in the necklace was a dark, lustrous opaque green. Held up to the light, I could see faint rainbow colors. There was a magic to it.
I told him in Spanish it was the piece I wanted. I did not dicker on the price in this case. I was happy enough with what he quoted, and, I had a deep sense that Eduardo badly needed the money. I expressed my delight at the beauty of the stone. He seemed pleased. He told me it was obsidiana (Spanish for obsidian) and it was very special to the Mayan people.
Eduardo had woven the obsidian into a thread neckband of olive green and black. He invited me to sit beside him so he could fit the length to me and add the clasp. But when he took out his lighter to burn the thread ends (as I had just seen him doing on a bracelet as I walked up), the flame failed to ignite. At that exact moment, Eduardo reached his “completely broke” point. He embarassedly asked to borrow a dollar so he could purchase a new lighter.
I said sure. He procured one from the store next door, then sat beside me again. I asked his name and where he was from. Peru. He had only been in Ecuador for a couple of weeks. We chatted happily while he worked, me in my broken Spanish and he in his imperfect English. It didn’t matter about the gaps. We understood each other in all the ways that were important.
As Eduardo was making the final fitting, a young couple walked up and the woman exclaimed how beautiful the necklace looked. It was me! I paid Eduardo the money, and we cheek kissed in the Spanish way before I departed.
He looked at me. “Esta fue una reunión de corazones, si Susanna?”
I smiled. “Yes Eduardo. It was indeed a true meeting of hearts.”
And I hugged him, then proceeded on my way.
As it turned out, this meeting was not just about Eduardo’s predicament. I also had been working through a rough period in my life. And when I later researched it, I discovered that green obsidian is a Gaia Stone and is sometimes called “The Soul of the Earth”. It is associated with the heart chakra and is said to promote loving relationships between people. And it is held sacred by the Mayan people.
Later I had the stone mounted in a silver wire so I would wear it more often. Because of the special way it came to me, the green obsidian represents my love for humanity. And when I wear it, I feel connected to the All and loved in return.
It magically found me at just the right time. And the messenger was Eduardo.
“Eduardo & the Green Obsidian” © Susan L Hart