This year, I had the absolute luck and pleasure of finding the small town of Raglan, New Zealand. The quirky surf town is located on the North Island, and is a highlight and motivation for my past and future travels. The small town is filled with culture, history, waterfalls and forests. The views are worth any plane time alone, the music is indescribable and best of all is the welcoming vibe I try to recreate in myself. I didn’t wear shoes for the full week there and by the end I was waving to all my new friends just walking up and down the streets. I connected with every shop owner and pedestrian and met characters any writer can turn into a full blown protagonist.
However, Tony, the owner of my favorite store, has been on my mind everyday since my return. At the edge of the stores I skated, then danced and stumbled into his welcoming wood patterned store to be greeted by his toothless smile and quick handshake. The store, Three Little Birds, emanated it’s magic properties. It was small, roughly the size of a simple bedroom and it was absolutely filled with gems. Literally. Artists from all over New Zealand sold their jewelry in Tony’s store and it was properly cluttered with stunningly eccentric pieces that just so happened to match your outfit today. I fell in love with Tony’s unconditional love for his costumers and his artwork. I fell in love with the store itself and in particular a green crystal displayed in the corner of the store. Tony explained to me that unfortunately it was not for sale. It was from a woman he had loved and lost and wanted to keep it’s beautiful energy around. I understood, of course, but my fascination with the green necklace has stuck with me. I purchased many things from that store, all from the same artist as the necklace that caught my attention. I bought a necklace for my sister and my mother. I wore them both for the rest of my travels, channeling all my energy to them. I held and rubbed the crystals in the hardest moments I experience abroad and in my happiest discoveries. And, Tony promised me that the green jewel I so desired and visited everyday, would be mine once his journey with it was over. I trust this is true, I trust Raglan and Tony. At the end of my visit Tony and I left with tears and swapped a few possessions (kinda like otters with pebbles I find myself doing this often on the road). This story is not only one of leaving a piece of myself in Raglan, or in Three Little Birds. It also began my curiosity with crystals and the powers they may or may not possess.