Today, as I was performing an especially energetic gesticulation in front of my students, the bracelet I was wearing flew off my arm, launched across the room, and exploded into fashion shrapnel upon impacting the top of a desk. After quickly verifying that no students were injured (everyone was just fine), I asked the kids to help me find all of the pieces. I didn’t want any part of the bracelet to be lost…left behind…ungathered.
The feeling inside me was a hybrid of panic and sadness. The bracelet was a gift from a person I love deeply and the notion of losing it…any piece of it…seemed heartbreaking. The fact that it was broken was bad enough, but not being able to piece it back together? I couldn’t face that thought.
I suppose it seems silly…to connect so much emotion with something as simple as a fashion accessory. I’ve never even been a bracelet wearer until this particular gift was given to me. It’s what it represents, though. It is the connection that was made…the thoughts and love that went into picking it out…it is the set of feelings I have every time I slip it over my hand and it settles into place on my wrist. It is a reminder through the day that someone I love thought of me and wanted to show me in a tangible way.
After my students helped retrieve all of the bits of the broken bracelet, I quickly consulted the website of the store where it was purchased…looking carefully at a photograph to make sure all of the pieces had been accounted for. Then I sealed it into an envelope for future assembly. I’m not sure how I will put it back together. I’ve never ventured into accessory reconstruction. At present, it is a jumbled mess that needs to be refashioned and reshaped and realigned. It needs to be patiently and lovingly put back in order so that the original beauty can be appreciated. It may be even more beautiful the second time around, though.
Something about the process of careful hands quietly putting things into proper place…it speaks of love. It speaks of patience. It speaks of the gentle re-creation of redemption.
I was grateful for the gift. I was shattered when it broke. I rejoiced when it was reclaimed.
And I will cherish the opportunity to put things back how they should be…even better than the first time around.