My Magic Sand Dollar / by Leslie

This is my magic sand dollar. "Magic?! Really?!" you say. Well, I don't know how to prove if something is magic or not. I mean, this isn't Harry Potter after all, but I do think that some items that we possess can be ascribed certain attributes that we can call magic, or spiritual or simply special. A necklace, a rock, a hand me down blanket. Something that comforts us, or inspires us, or makes us feel good. Often these are things that have been given to us, or are passed down in the family. Do you have any? What are your magic items?

This sand dollar was given to me by a mysterious guy who I met and talked to at length one night when I was in college. I never saw him again. I remember what he looked like a little bit, but not very much else. I dug through my old sketch books and found that I had written down some details about the conversation. His name was Julian. He told me that he found this sand dollar on the beach in San Quintin, Baja. He said he was a descendant of the Iroquois Indians. And he told me a story called The Four Directions.

So I looked it up. And there is in fact a Lakota Story of the Four Directions that matches what he told me. When I searched for sand dollars, all I could find were the big ones with the key holes in them, but when I searched for sand dollars on the beach in San Quintin? There were pictures that looked exactly like the sand dollar that I have. It seems this dude wasn't BSing me after all.

At the time, I was still discovering myself, and a little spiritual guidance from a stranger was a welcome gift. I was open to the universe, I was seeking answers to big questions about what the heck I was doing with my life and I was very young. I needed something mystical back then, something a little otherworldly, and there it was, in a stranger's stories and a sand dollar.

I kept it all these years, wrapped in tissue paper and in a box, with a bunch of other treasures. Only a few of the things in that box feel this special though. I take it out every once and a while, unwrap the tissue paper and look at the fine lines and at the sand that falls out of it. The sand sparkles and glitters, just like pixie dust. And it makes me happy, to look at this treasure and to think that someone was so kind and generous to give it to me when I needed some inspiration. 

So, what are your thoughts? Do you have anything that you treasure, something irreplaceable, something filled with emotion? I'd love to hear about different items that you have and if you are nearby, could I photograph them?