My faithful friend and the neighbouring Rutilated Quartz
When I was 11 years old, I and my mother met with a Geologist who lived locally. I’d already been tentatively using crystals for a year or so, and he kept some of his collection at his house, a couple of miles from my family home.
Most of his collection made no impression on me, but two crystals did: a HUGE dark purple Fluorite octahedron, the biggest I’ve ever seen and about 30cm at its widest point, and a much smaller cubic cluster in the beautiful blue of a summer sky.
I wasn’t permitted to touch or handle the big octahedron, not that it mattered since I could feel its energy clear across the room, but the gentleman placed the blue cluster in my left hand and let me hold onto it for most of the visit. I could feel its energy flowing up my arm to my shoulder the entire time, but he didn’t give me permission to walk away with it, so I couldn’t. The cluster had a patch of Tipp-Ex on one side with a handwritten specimen number on it in black ink: 15,750.
When it came to time to leave, I honestly didn’t want to hand the Fluorite back, but I wasn’t raised to be a thief. For about six weeks after, I felt as if I was missing something fundamental, almost like missing a limb or major organ, before I finally managed to put it to the back of my mind and get on with my young life.
I also noticed something else during the visit: the Geologist was having a lot of trouble breathing. I’d been diagnosed as asthmatic less than a year before these events and, to my 11-year-old mind, it sounded like he had the same problem, so I offered him my spare Ventolin. He was touched, but he explained that owing to the amount of time he’d spent in mines, he had, not asthma, but asbestosis, and he didn’t think Ventolin would help him.
I kept trying to figure out if I could get hold of that Fluorite – feeling its absence so acutely was really not nice – but my family had no money, so that was out. And then, around six months after the visit, the gentleman left this life.
I was quite devastated as- he was a true gentleman, and even back then you didn’t meet many like him. The other problem was, his collection was subsequently split up and sold at auction: nothing unusual in that, but I felt it meant I would probably never see the Fluorite again, since I had no idea where or when the auction might be held, and neither I nor my parents had the kind of money the crystal might have fetched from the right audience.
I went on with my life, thinking it wasn’t meant to be.
Fast forward five years. I was 16, in sixth form (further education in the UK for ages 16-18 years), and I had a funding grant to do an A-level in Geology. One Wednesday, after my only class of the day, I had no desire to go straight home because my family had been arguing all the previous day and I had no wish to expose myself to more of that. Instead, I wandered into the town the sixth form was on the edge of, just looking for something to do and with £60 of my grant money in my pocket. I turned on instinct down a back street which ran parallel to the main shopping street and took a left turn into a small courtyard surrounded by shops.
The first shop on the left just happened to be a crystal shop.
I looked in the window and, to be honest, I wasn’t impressed: most of the stock looked like junk. I went to walk away, but I felt an almost physical shove in the ribs and a very firm order in my inner ear: “Do not walk away. Go inside!”
Okay, I thought. Obviously I’m supposed to go in. So I did.
By and large, I’d been right about the stock. It was at least two-thirds junk. However, on one of the shelving units, I spotted something cubic, summer sky-blue, and very familiar…
Could it be?
Not without some trepidation, I picked the crystal up and turned it gently.
15,750. Same patch of Tipp-Ex, same handwriting, same specimen number.
My Blue Fluorite (it’s a Bingham Blue) was sitting in my hand, and I had the means and opportunity to bring it home, right there and then. My faithful friend had somehow, against all the odds, managed to find its way back to me when I had the wherewithal to finish the job and make it legitimately mine.
The price tag said £18. A little over price, but then, so was every other piece of merchandise — the owner marked everything up by 100%, which meant a lot of her stuff cost more than it was worth. Ordinarily, I have a price ceiling, a limit on what I’m prepared to pay for any given item, but this was different.
The shop owner looked rather surprised when I took the Fluorite to the till and handed over a £20 note. That got me curious,so I asked her how long she’d had the crystal in stock. She told me she’d bought it at auction two days previously, and that she hadn’t wanted to bid on it at all, but that her angel had insisted she do so (a bit like how someone had insisted I not walk away from the place, obviously), and she hadn’t expected to sell it.
It seems fairly obvious what happened: either her angel, or my crystal, pushed her to place a winning bid (which if she followed her own markup rule must only have been £9), and then, two days later, my angel, my crystal, or possibly my Grandfather, who’s one of my guides, made absolutely sure I walked in and found it.
Needless to say, I still have it today, though it did ask (I’m a crystal whisperer) that I remove as much of the Tipp-Ex as I was able, which meant scratching away the specimen number (we don’t like being thought of as numbers; why should a crystal like it either?), and soon afterward I returned to purchase a lovely little raw Rutilated Quartz crystal which had made its displeasure with being there abundantly clear to me. (I think it also helped that it was right next to the Fluorite!)
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