Tag Archives: gems

Crystalline wonders

This week, Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch Communications challenged writers to: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the word crystalline.

In her post, Charli wrote about hunting for agates. She also mentioned many other types of rock, including quartz, chert, silica, gneiss, granite, mica… She used terms like metamorphic and fossilised, and I was transported back to my high school science classes. Sadly, I wasn’t inspired to be a rock-hound like Charli, and needed to check my understanding of these words and terms.

My research uncovered both science facts and assorted beliefs about the seemingly magical properties of agate, some of which I’ll share with you.

#12 Science facts about agate (without getting too technical):

  • A type of quartz
  • Most commonly found in volcanic rock, sometimes metamorphic
  • Fine grains and bright colours, often in bands
  • Many are hollow geodes
  • Weather resistant
  • Often found in soil or on the shoreline of waterways
  • Many different types of agate
  • Found in many different countries
  • Many uses including art and jewellery
  • Polishing, often by tumbling, helps to expose their inner beauty of colours and patterns
  • Each agate is unique
  • Can vary in size and value

Sources: Wikipedia, Minerals.net, International Gem Society

Due to the bands of colour, agate is also known as Earth’s rainbow.

A collection of beliefs about the metaphysical properties and healing powers of agate

Can be used to create balance in emotional, physical and intellectual energy of an individual and of the universe.

Worn as an amulet, it provides protection.

Different colours and types of agate are considered to have different metaphysical properties, for example; some are thought to be calming, some uplifting, others bring abundance, some have healing powers, and others bestow strength. In fact, it seems agate can help with almost everything from marketing your writing and managing your overwhelming multitude of tasks to preventing traffic accidents.

Agate is a zodiac stone for my birth sign Gemini. While I may not dare agree with it (pass me the agate. I’m sure it will help me), I rather like the description. It tells me that Gemini is the sign of the inventor and that,

Those born under this sign can see both sides of an issue. They’re flexible and can go with the flow, and can be lively and talkative, or restless and nervous depending on their setting. Those born when the Sun is in Gemini are quick thinkers, quick-witted, and quick on their feet.

Disappointingly for me, I was not born in summer. I’m a Southern Hemisphere winter Gemini baby. Does that make me the opposite?

Sources: Crystal Vaults, Crystal Healing, Crystals and Jewellery

It seems that with a small collection of differently coloured agates one could conquer almost everything, be self-aware and self-confident, courageous and strong, peaceful and healthy.  Perhaps a collection in every home, on every corner, and in every classroom, could be the answer to humanity’s problems.

#12 Agates for a classroom collection?

  • Blue – creativity, problem solving, courage
  • Banded – creates a healthy environment, removes negativity, cuts ties to negative relationships, helps seek solutions and to try new things, offers protection, encourages creativity
  • Blue lace – healing and calming, nurturing and supportive, reduces anger, reduces fear of being judged, assists with verbal expression
  • Botswana – creativity, problem solving, quit smoking, energises the brain
  • Bull’s eye – focus
  • Colorin – helps accept changes associated with aging
  • Crackled fire – energy and protection, prevents burn-out
  • Crazy lace – focus, reduces negativity
  • Dendritic – abundance, peace
  • Green – enhances thinking, improves decision making, resolving disputes
  • Laguna – builds community, improves learning, especially in mathematics
  • Moss – self-esteem, friendship skills, try again

What do you think? Is it worth a try? I know of at least one teacher who thought so. I was employed to replace her when other teachers and parents became concerned that the children weren’t learning anything useful. She may have found a sense of calm and balance, but the children were disrupted, distracted, and disengaged. Like many things, the power is in the actions we take, and not manifested by the object itself.

Charli likens rock hunting to writing. She says,

the more you show up to the beach and the page, the better your chances of finding a crystalline wonder.

I think polishing the agates to reveal their inner beauty must be a little like writing, and teaching too.

That’s one reason why I keep showing up. I don’t know that I’ll ever find a crystalline wonder, but I’m prepared to put in some effort to find out.

This is my response to Charli’s challenge. It didn’t go quite where I intended and maybe not where you’d expect, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

Darling Crystalline

Her mother wanted Chrystal; father, Clementine. Calm registrar decided: Baby Crystalline.

Parental spats continued as Crystalline grew up. Never in agreement, it made her so messed-up.

Crystalline retreated, spent days all on her own, searching by the water, for brightly coloured stones.

She gathered a collection that healed her aching heart, ignited self-compassion and made a brand-new start.

Believing stones worked magic, curing each and every woe, she took the heart stones with her, wherever she would go.

She shared their healing powers, with any she could find, she told them “Pay it forward. She became their darling Crystalline.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

It’s not fiction

Most of my current writing is non-fiction with a strong focus on education. The two blog posts I publish each week generally address educational issues or share my thoughts about learning.

In my ongoing work-for-self I develop educational materials and resources for parents, teachers and children. Some of these are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, and are listed on the Teaching and learning resources page of this blog.  My goal is to set up my own website on which all the resources I produce will be available.

During my work-for-pay hours I am also involved in writing resources for teachers. Most of my published material, listed on the Writing – interest and publications page, is also educational.

That is not to say that I am not interested in writing fiction. Over the years I have enjoyed writing in a variety of other genres including stories for children, short stories and poetry; and still do. They are just not my main focus at the moment. That may change in the future. Or it may not.

One opportunity for writing fiction that I am very much enjoying at the moment is the weekly 99 word flash fiction challenge  set by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.

Initially my responses to Charli’s prompts were unsystematic. However it was not long before I was incorporating them into longer posts which maintained the educational focus of my blog. A recurrent theme is the importance for schooling to target the particular needs of individual children.

Soon a character emerged: Marnie — a young girl, from a dysfunctional family, for whom school would be a threatening and meaningless experience without the support of a passionate and caring teacher. Sometimes, as with this week’s, the prompt inspires immediately and I write a story in which I hope that the message is strong enough for it to stand alone, without the support of a lengthier post explaining my thinking background.

Here is this week’s response to Charlie’s prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about rare gems. I’d love to know how successful you think I have been.


glitch, trophy gem http://goo.gl/VEQVxM

glitch, trophy gem http://goo.gl/VEQVxM

Uncut gem

She examined the new arrival, assessing the possible effects of integration into the existing collective. Would the group be enhanced or would this newcomer disrupt the established harmony?

From every angle the edges were rough and uneven. The years of obvious neglect obscured the potential from any but a trained eye.

Fortunately her eyes were keen. A bit of encouragement here, a little adjustment there, an opportunity to sparkle and display unique and positive attributes.

She smiled. Experience had shown what could be achieved with a little polish and care.

“Welcome to our class, Marnie,” she said.


Thank you

Thank you for reading. I value your feedback. Please share your thoughts about this post and flash fiction story.