My Life in Gold
The Moon was but a Chin of Gold
A Night or two ago—
And now she turns Her perfect Face
Upon the World below—
Emily Dickinson was forging exciting new and fresh metaphors to describe the world around her when she wrote the above poem. The moon is not, for her, a boring and predictable ‘silver’ orb or pale silvery face, but instead a ‘chin of gold’. I for one, totally understand how Emily feels. Something about gold promises new and exciting things, things of romance, meaning, worth and lasting importance.
My first ever real piece of jewelry to was a little gold ring that my Grandmother and Grandfather gave to me on my 1st birthday. It was a delicate band of gold, and the middle of the flower was a tiny red stone.I wore this ring as a child on my right ring finger. As I grew older it became a pinkie ring. The ring is so tiny now, I wear it on a gold necklace with some other memorable family lockets and charms that tell stories about my life. I remember the feeling of wearing it when I was a child. I remember running my thumb across the back of the smooth gold band. I could feel how it took on the warm heat of my hand. I felt like a familiar part of me. I loved that it came from my Grandparents. They had so carefully chosen it just for me. It is amongst my most prized possessions, and though it is modest and small, it means the whole world to me. It holds a value that can not be measured.
To the Koreans, gold symbolizes wealth and longevity. Doljanchi is to celebrate the baby surviving his/her first birthday, and gold rings are given as gifts to babies to wish them both longevity and prosperity. On the day of my first sons first birthday, my mom and dad presented him with a tiny gold rabbit charm and a gold ring of his own. I treasure these pieces for him. My youngest boy received a gold horse as he was born in the year of the horse and his own gold band. I know that these pieces may not mean much to them now. But when I tell them that they have real gold treasures given to them to mark their first year of life I could see their eyes twinkle and light up. They know the value of these treasures, even without me having to tell them how much they are worth. I wear their rings on the same necklace and this collection of family stories is one of my most prized possessions.
It’s no wonder that throughout time gold has been given as a gift to commemorate memorable or important messages and express our love. I heard once heard somewhere that to have gold energy is to have the power and radiance of the sun with the roundness and vast inner resources of the earth. I feel it makes perfect sense that we use this precious metal to expressed the way we feel when something means the entire universe to us. It symbolizes some thing that holds onto its value throughout time. The emotion that can go into a single piece of gold jewelry can carry that energy from generation to generation and beyond without ever losing its value in the slightest and only gaining more value and meaning throughout time.