When I was a teenager living on a big 6-acre farm with a giant grassy backyard bordered by a half-acre vegetable garden and numerous fruit trees and berry bushes and vines my Young Womanhood medallion must have come unclasped or the chain might have broken and it became lost in the endless grassy backyard that required a John Deere riding lawn mower to mow.
I don’t recall what I was doing when I lost it. I could have been mowing the lawn. I could have been turning handsprings or cartwheels in the grass. I could have been romping with our dogs Pepper and Spike.
I just remember absently reaching up to touch it and noticing its absence as my fingers brushed across bare skin before landing on the finished edge of my shirt collar.
I fell to my knees, searching frantically. Fingers grasping for it’s cold part smooth, part brushed gold. Eyes narrowing hoping to see a shiny glimpse. I searched until after the sun went down. To no avail.
These days I don’t wear gold, except for my plain gold wedding band. Which, despite a drawerful of pretty earrings and bracelets and a handful of colorful necklaces, is the only jewelry I wear. But that simply necklace meant something to me. Because I earned it.
I’m sure I could go buy a new one if I really wanted to, even though all records of my having earned the original are surely long gone or forgotten. But that wouldn’t be the same.
That grassy yard and house are long since sold. Perhaps they’ve had more than one owner since then.
I wonder if someday it will turn up somewhere. And someone will have no idea what it symbolized.
Or what it meant to me.