“ It's a funny thing about comin' home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You'll realize what's changed is you. ”
(F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
When I was a kid I had a mineralogy phase. I remember being struck like a magpie in front pyrites and amethysts at one of the science camps I used to go to during the holidays. We studied their characteristics in class and then went on a trip to the science museum to observe what we saw on paper. There was a room at the time (hopefully it still exists) set in the dark where weird neon fluorescent stones were glowing under glass displays. How does nature make such things? It still boggles my mind.
When the camp was over, I subscribed to this magazine that came with a different type of gemstone each week. I remember the anticipation and the satisfaction of filling the little cases of my box with different colourful treasures with such beautiful names like tiger's eye, malachite or bloodstone.
My dad brought me back a ton of minerals from Morocco and among them, this desert rose. I just couldn't believe my eyes, what I saw in museums behind a glass was there in my little hands. What nature had created with its infinite patience (it can take up to thousands of years) in arid conditions was standing unassumingly on my bookshelves next to my roald dahls and comtesse de ségurs.
Still to this day, every time I come back to my childhood bedroom, I have to take it in my hands and wonder how such an amazing thing ended up within my walls. If there's such thing as 'a prized possession' in my life, this is it.