I’ve never completely, truly, believed in the whole power of crystals thing. This may come as a shock to my friends, I know. Power of the mind to move things around, maybe. Aliens, definitely. Santa Clause. Absolutely.
It was the power of the sunshine not the crystal that made us move to Portugal. In 1990 I spent a year in Sydney. I loved the sunshine, the harbour, the people, the beach, going to work on a boat across the harbour. I kept going back for holidays. For me, Lisbon is the European version. Not a second best, it is equally as fabulous. It also has the advantage of being closer to England so I can visit family and friends.
Yesterday I woke up, grabbed an empty mug next to my bed, staggered sleepily downstairs. Crash! What? I looked down A slab of crystal had been stuck to the bottom of the cup and broken in two on the stairs. A sentimental slab of crystal. Well, ok, I’d been using it as a coaster. It was given to me by Sean, hippy, spiritualist, believer in the power of crystal and a friend from Sydney I hadn’t seen for years. We had shared a flat on Bondi beach for a year on a working holiday visa, with three others, Jason, Zillah and Chris. 23 years ago. I hadn’t heard from any of them since apart from Zillah. We had gone our separate ways . The piece of crystal, now in two, was one of the last tangible things I had from that time. For about five seconds, the time it takes to get from hallway to kitchen, I thought about the guys, Jason, Sean, Chris, from the Bondi flat. The memory of giving surf reports from the living room window, full English breakfasts eaten outdoors and cooked on the antique stove, a mug of coffee on the beach, going barefoot to the bakers, Speedo’s café…. hmmm. Should I keep the shattered crystal? My daughter’s words floated into my head. The day before we were discussing whether to keep an airbed that had always deflated by morning. “That’s just dangerous hoarding mum”. As I am trying to reinvent myself as a non-hoarder I popped the crystal down by the camping gas hob to throw away later, and headed upstairs with a mug of coffee.
Evening came. I went down to cook cauliflower cheese. The broken crystal sat there, waiting to go into the rubbish bag. I’d forgotten about it all day. It was just a broken piece of glass after all. The cheese sauce bubbled away. OMG!! Suddenly I realised how truly weird the day had been. Not the trip to the dentist or the menu del dia at Intermarche for 6.50 euros or the swim in the reservoir. It was this.
Around mid-morning that same day I had opened up my emails to find a Facebook message from Jason in Australia. A message after twenty three years. On the day I had broken the crystal. Surely just coincidence? You think?