Romancing the Stone In Real Life
In 1984 a movie came out called Romancing the Stone. It starred Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. Truly a great flick if you don't mind the seriously 80s vibe. Anyway, there is a scene, a moment in that movie where our
protagonists are digging in Leche de la Madre for a palm sized, heart-shaped emerald called El Corazón It is at that moment that she looks at Michael Douglas smiles and says, "You're the best time I ever had." I know this feeling so well.
In my previous stories I explained how Shane and I met and how I was lucky enough to be present for part of the Area 51 story. But I never really explained how digging can bring a connection beyond words with someone. See, some women, many women in fact, love being pampered. NYC trips and vacations to a beach with a private concierge and $1000 shoes. But there are others that truly enjoy nature and adventure. If you are reading this you are probably one of us.
When Shane asked me to marry him he said, "We met in a hole." This is not far from the truth. We had met, we had talked but it wasn't until we sat side by side digging crystals that things really changed.
He was sitting next to me. We were chatting about nothing and every few minutes, a new treasure came out of the earth. It was exciting. I mean, who doesn't want to hunt for buried treasure, right? He was smiling and making his silly, boyish jokes, as usual and I remember looking up and him and thinking about that line from the movie. Shane really was and still is my best time. Each time we go digging whether on jackhammers or by hand, there is this amazing connection that happens. It's like nothing else. Two people, working together to unearth a piece of natures beauty that hasn't' been seen for hundreds of thousands, at times, millions of years. may be the most romantic scenario I can think of.
We are so far from alone with this. One of the founding fathers, Chris met his bride digging. I brought Lauren up to dig with me at 51. Chris was always a very quiet person. He is quite funny and clever but saved his words for the times when they mattered.
Lauren is also extremely intelligent always analyzing people, her words, actions, and basically everything. She didn't let on right away except to me in the long car rides home but she was very attracted to Chris and felt a connection there. Like I said, there's just something about digging that brings people together.
He was there holding the hammer drill with her when she found her first pocket. They were together hunched over the small hole retrieving the bounty that was inside. He glowed, maybe even more than she did, when she held up her crystals. It took some time, but they eventually allowed the connection.
Some, months later in the late summer, Lauren was having a birthday. We all went to Chris' where he had made a lactose free, gluten free ice-cream cake. (Yes, I was very worried about it too). The air in the room felt as if it were thick somehow. I remember looking at them, she glowing at how he had been so thoughtful and he, with pride, and thinking how I had never seen anything like it before. The love between them was physically tangible and it started at Area 51.
Married now, they live up north in a quiet place. We don't see them often but when we talk, you can still feel that love she has for him, beyond a feeling but an actually manifestation created by energy.
Barb and Barry have been together for 22 years. They are the type of people who make things happen. Everything around them is fun and easy. From sled trails to boats, to family time, this couple has just done it all.
Six years ago, they began digging together and have now become half of the Area 51 company. Digging with them is always a great time. They, just like Shane and I sit side by side, digging, chatting and laughing the day away. They tease and joke with each other and can almost read each other's thoughts.
It amazes me that Barb will look at Barry, get up and start making him his lunch or get him a water. "I know you were ready for this," she would say, somehow knowing what he was thinking. He, digging trenches, bringing her a mat to sit on or tools, seems to cater to her every need. Their celebration is slightly different when they find a treasure. They just look at each other and smile. It's this quiet connection of two people that even strangers can tell have a blast with each other.
When they aren't at the property this crystal connection continues as they work their magic and create jewelry and pieces of art with the material they find. They feed off each other's ideas and work as one. It is astounding what they can do together.
The sequel to Romancing the Stone is another romantic adventure film called Jewel of the Nile. In it, we find out that the jewel is really a person. Well, this too is so close to real life. You see, digging, yes provides us with beautiful minerals and gifts from the Earth that can make your eyes tear and heart sing; but the real treasures in mining are the people we meet, the ones that take your breath away or make you laugh harder than you ever thought possible. It is the friends and the connections we make that are there, blood stained hands, scratching at the dirt absolutely stoked to be enjoying that moment with you.
I hope you all find your El Corazón and cheers to the best time in my life. I can not wait to get back in a hole and dig for treasure with you.