Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What to do with a lucky penny

Recently my friend Ann Mortifee gave me a lucky penny. We were in a crowded restaurant at the end of the tourist season here on Cortes Island, and midst the beet salad and views of Desolation Sound, she dramatically reached across the table and placed a penny in my palm, declaring this was a lucky penny that would bring me good luck and good fortune. Ann pointed to a beautiful necklace of silver rings she was wearing, from which dangled a penny. The necklace was from her mother, she said, and the penny came from a friend who offered her in jest a penny he had just found. She chose to receive the penny with a full sense of honor and serious purpose. I could have thought her gesture was silly and the sentiment old-fashioned, but I chose to believe her statement: this is my lucky penny.

I asked my friend Irene Blueth of Silver Sea Jewelry to to honor my penny by setting it in silver so I could keep it close by wearing it. I also have a necklace my mother gave me, but instead of planished silver, it is a steel or tin chain hung with plastic circles that my mother brought back from a trip to India many years ago; the sort of token thrown by street performers during a festival. I could have accepted the necklace was cheap and undignified to wear, but I chose to believe this gift from my mother has been waiting a long time to be received.

In this time of great change, I can choose to be in fear and disappointment, or I can choose to be in love and generosity. I can believe that my work toward spiritual fulfillment is joy, or just work. I can believe that I am too small to help others, or I can believe that my artful effort is big enough to turn the tide. I am choosing to believe in my lucky penny, and I am wearing the Queen like the Queen that I am.