Since there aren’t a lot of recreational things we can do with relative ease and carefree-ness of old, we’ve taken to look around our own living quarters. My friend Kimmie, who lives in Germany, sent me this pin that she found in her attic. Kimmie knows I like pins — or brooches, as my mother used to call them. It’s a funny looking pin, perhaps Victorian, and maybe once had the braided hair of a loved one looped around its mysterious empty wells. The pin is made from common base metal, the turquoise colored rings are glass, a more affordable alternative for the real semi-precious stone that was purported to have talismanic properties. Since the ancient Egyptians to the Aztecs, who called it ‘chalchihuitl’, turquoise was attributed with powers against evil and sickness; a master healer, manifesting an energy that shielded against negativity. They say that our greeting, “How are you?” came from the Victorian era, where someone was literally showing caring and kindness in asking after your health. When science and medicine did not yet have the power to present greater society of any hope against consumption, infant mortality, or alleviation of suffering from a myriad of illnesses, no wonder turquoise jewelry proliferated and was a favorite of Queen Victoria herself. The Queen was known to give presents to many — her family, staff, friends, studded with turquoise. A lovely way to say, I care for you, stay well and safe, may you be protected from harm. I look at this humble little pin and think someone who could not afford real turquoise, nonetheless purchased the best next thing to represent the incantation to a loved one: don’t forget you are loved, be safe, be well.