I'm a girl. I like sparkly things. Lucky for me, my oldest loves crystals. He collects any quartz he happens to stumble upon while playing outside. This made gem mining, while in Boone, North Carolina a no brainer. I didn't hold high hopes. I mean, you pay this store $10 for a small bucket of dirt or $20 for a large and then you belly up to a mote like trough of water and sift through scoops of dirt. I was quite sure that I was paying $10 per child for the experience. But lo and behold, my oldest uncovered 2 rubies (1.5 to 3 carats) that mind you, look like ugly dirty rocks until cut and polished, a few fools gold pieces and some other beauties. My youngest scored beautiful amethyst, smokey quartz, topaz and more. Even better than their treasures... they had so much fun and now I get to see the sunlight stream through the sparkly gems every time I do dishes (I moved them to the kitchen window after taking these pics). And I am reminded - beauty from ashes.
Reminding myself of that truth found in Isaiah is worth more than all the rubies in the world. xo
gem illustration above via tumblr