Did you ever collect charm bracelets? Collect might be a bit strong of a description for mine. I’d get them at a variety of tourist spots on vacation, and then promptly lose them upon coming home. I remember looking at them in the gift shop, twirling them around my fingers, examing each charm. I’d wear it for a little while and then it would disappear into the netherworld of lost socks and board game pieces, never to be seen again.
I have vague memories of tricorn hats, moccasins, cactus, oranges, palm trees, revolvers, horses and buggies, Amish hats and other like trinkets in fake silver and gold.
After college, I made myself a charm necklace with pendant charms that I liked but no longer wore, strung onto a shoelace or a thick piece of twine, each separated by beads. It became too heavy to wear.
In recent years, I began collecting charms again; this time on a chain bracelet. I picked things out that were meaningful to my life now. I did lose one of a bow and arrow that I’d had since the SCA and archery practice in the ’90s, and that made me sad, but I substituted a bow and arrow that I found on a keychain of The Hunger Games.
Each one means something different and symbolizes some aspect of my life now.
The charm bracelet was the first place that I put a cross after I’d begun my RCIA studies.
The compass symbolizes the constant journey I’m on, and keeps me on the path and going in the right direction.
The salt vial keeps the demons away. Actually, it’s a symbol of Supernatural, a television show that is one of my coping mechanisms for depression (along with others). It reminds me that I’m part of the Supernatural familly and to always keep fighting.
The Tree of Life is nature, and life, and something that is bigger than me.
My griffin is from my original charm necklace. It is my favorite animal. Part lion and part eagle, they are both majestic and confident, and their golden feathers are gorgeous.
The feather is in place of a quill for all my writing.
Each one is special in its own way. It is like my secular rosary.