A Ring for Every Season
Updated: Mar 8
Recently, I changed my wedding band - again. I'd had several over the years, each representing a different part of my life. Wedding bands are strange little ornaments, a statement to the world that one is neatly accounted for in a marriage. But, for me, it's also been a message to myself - a very personal one, a reflection of who I am at a given point in life's journey.
At the embarrassingly young age of nineteen, with no authentic jewelry to my name, my band was substantial but straightforward, gold with no adornments, an enormous decision made for the wrong reasons. A marriage doomed from the start. Years later, on the Ponte Vecchio, we made a quick stop at a store on the bridge, backpacks and all, to buy a new wedding band, representative of our European adventure, but oddly also of our rapidly shrinking marriage. It all but disappeared on my finger. The marriage ended shortly after.
Later, in my forties, after more than a decade of hard work, raising three young children, building the foundation of a career, and searching for love, I wanted to make a statement to myself and the world. I made it! Finally, my life was a success after all. Finally, someone loved me - me, foibles and all.
A decade later, far more secure in my skin, I moved on. My love of art, craftsmanship, and friendships drew me to a hand-crafted ring of gold, iron, and tiny diamonds, a creative composition of three beautiful, natural substances. I love that ring and all it represents in my life. I'd be fully content wearing it until my last breath. It stands for all of me - almost.
But, lo and behold, sifting through my parents' treasures, I came upon a tiny envelope with a ring. Inside rested the wedding band Grandpa Leo wore after he married in the 1920s, later by my father in the 1940s, and more recently, for a very brief marriage by my sister in the 1970s. It's a simple, classic Jewish wedding band - pure metal, no-frills, no stones. It fit perfectly. So perfectly that I cannot tell if it's on. Cinderella's slipper? A return to family roots? Perhaps a pull toward some loved ones now gone?
I'm not sure I know the answer. But for now, it feels right.