Finding Adventure in History
STUCCO FRANCISCAN MISSIONS, ROSE GARDENS & EXPLORATION
Exploration is ingrained in our family. I was an army-brat and that meant we moved around from base to base a lot. Being in my teens, many people might think that meant I’d hate leaving behind my school and friends every few years or months but for me it just meant a new location and culture to explore. Whenever we moved to a new location my parents always insisted on learning the local history. My father was a history buff and where-ever we traveled he would investigate often overlooked facts from the local history. My parents always tried to pass on this importance to my brothers and I.
Even if I never had the deep ties or a real “hometown” I had experiences. We would get up at dawn and watch whales as they migrated along the California coast or maybe catch the walrus in Monterey Bay as they lounged out in the afternoon sun. Instead of going out to the movies and watching action unfold on the big screen, we lived it. We camped outside and would wake to the smell of eggs and bacon that my father would always start preparing at the crack of dawn. We visited stucco Franciscan missions with rose gardens and long grapevines that tangled through the cracks of the old buildings. Rodeos at a mission were a special treat.
During those days Mom didn’t drive but she was a skilled navigator. She could always spot interesting side trips. She was the reason we saw the ancient writings on rock walls at Yosemite or made the trip at just the right time to catch the first snowfall. I think those early days of hunting for arrowheads or searching for long-lost history with my father were the reason I originally became drawn to organic jewelry. The symbolism intrigued me. The history behind it sparked a need to know and understand more.
One such experience is the reason why I created these bronze earrings with hands. They are simple, organic and easy to wear but the rugged look suggests they have been through something. There is history there. It’s that longing to know more and how they became the way they were that I wanted to capture.
When I had my own children, I wanted to pass on this sense of adventure to them. I took them out to explore nature and I taught them history outside where it happened and not just in the classroom. We once made a trip to the Chicago Natural History Museum to see the lions preserved at the museum after learning about how they had attacked a rail station in Africa. It’s not just about hearing or reading history but also about experiencing it—even if you are only ten or hundreds of years late.
Whether you are young or old, it’s never too late to learn about the world and the history it’s full of.