I am holding a thin golden chain.
We are musicians but lately we have been working on creating jewelry inspired by the lines of the harp I play. Today, the project is a necklace. The chain I am holding is a delicate cable chain, gold filled. Heat and pressure fused a bond between the gold and the metal beneath.
We are using a golden ring to hang a harp of vintage brass from the 1930s, adorned with delicate vines. The ring is a jump ring and cannot be pried apart, or it will never be able to be put back together. Instead, it must be gently twisted, spiraling out and returning.
One year ago, one of my closest friends handed me a pair of earrings. Harps, pressed gold, paper thin, still shining. Many years ago, I left them behind in a blue cabin in North Carolina. I’d bought a set of harp earrings and a matching necklace when the daughter I placed for adoption was very small. I was spending a lot of time playing the harp to soothe my soul, and poring over a catalogue full of sheet music I found that set of necklace and earrings and ordered them. I sent a thin gold necklace and my love in the mail across the country to California and I kept the earrings so that we each had a part of the whole. I believe I thought that thin golden chain would hold us together somehow. I was wrong about that. It wasn’t the necklace, which she lost, or the earrings, which I accidentally abandoned when I left the blue cabin behind for the mountains, which bound us together.
What bound us together was love but what linked us together was the grace of the beautiful woman who is the mother of my daughter. Eighteen years ago on this day, I was holding within me an unborn child and the knowledge that another woman would become her mother. Eighteen years ago on this day I reached out with trembling fingers to pick up a phone and talk to that woman. Unbeknownst to me, it was her birthday.
I knew that the woman who would become the mother of my child was beautiful, blonde, talented, and intelligent. What I did not know then was her complete courage, her steadiness, her humor, her humility, and her holiness. I did not know how much she would teach me about how to become a woman, and a mother.
Adoption transforms us all. The bonds that connect us are complex. We are fused in pressure. We are bound by grace. I am holding a golden chain and upon it I will hang a harp and I am sending with my love to California, to the woman who is the mother of my child.