“late 13c., “article of value used for adornment,” from Anglo-French juel, Old French jouel “ornament, jewel” (12c.), perhaps from Medieval Latin jocale, from Latin jocus “pastime, sport,” in Vulgar Latin “that which causes joy” (see joke (n.)). Another theory traces it to Latin gaudium, also with a notion of “rejoice” (see joy).” http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=jewel
“Sense of “precious stone” developed early 14c. Meaning “beloved person, admired woman” is late 14c.” http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=jewel
Another beloved, admired jewel in ‘my book’, who brings joy and rejoicing, is dear, true friend Lisa Brunetti . A few weeks ago, I asked if she would permit me to use one of her paintings to illustrate a poem written by my daughter. Yes, of course, she said, and sent, not one, but eight, beautiful photos of her work. Such generosity of spirit and kindness warms my heart to its core. And, for those of you who already know Lisa, sending so many samples via her ultra slow internet connection was not a simple matter. It took time and considerable effort. Thank you, Lisa, friend with a soul as beautiful as a rare Ecuadorean Emerald.
My daughter’s poem needs some final editing before it is ready for posting on my blog, but here are a few lines, to put a sparkle in your eye, until the final version is available.
Lark of lizards, plastic little gecko,
how I love the echo of your calls,..
…so often past the midnight have I seen
you, gaudious gelatinous-fingered gecko,
munching moth-mouthed on the meshing screens
Geckos and their lives were an integral, and much loved, part of my childhood in Fiji. As they talked and stalked their way along ceilings and walls, or simply rested, stilled and waiting, they kept us company. On long tropical nights, we watched each other, and together listened to the radio and each other’s words. My daughter, in Cairns, is learning to enjoy and understand their companionship.
No geckos for me, on this cold, hail-ridden, third day of autumn, in Christchurch. Instead, this bright jewel came to my window during a brief respite in the storm. I smiled at the way it looked at me, and I said “Kia Ora, welcome to my window.”
But, then, I wondered if I had chosen the wrong greeting because, it seems to me, this little one may not be our native Orthodera novaezealandiae,
but its South African Springbok rival, Miomatis caffra,
that was accidentally brought to New Zealand in the 1970s.
The endemic New Zealand praying mantis … is currently wide spread through out most of the country, but faces the threat of at least local extinction in many areas because of the competition from the Spring bok praying mantis. If nothing is done to protect our native praying mantis, within a few decades we may no longer be able to observe its intriguing way of life in our gardens. http://www.canterburynature.org/species/lincoln_essays/nzmantis.php
Pray tell me, someone, if this gorgeous creature is jewel or thief? True friend or autumn leaf?
[I wonder if our rugby board knows that the rivalry between South Africa and New Zealand has taken a leap off-pitch, and New Zealand isn’t winning. The Spring Boks are taking out the All (Green) Blacks big time, and on our own home turf.]
One last diamond to add to my post:
Before this month ends, I will receive a visitor from across the Tasman Sea. We haven’t seen each other for more than a decade. In fact, we have seen each other only once or twice in the last 45 years. But we are bonded by a shared childhood and our friendship has endured. I wonder if either of us understood the sturdy ring of truth in these words, when Jennifer penned them in my autograph book on 15 June 1967, in our island home, Lautoka, Fiji.
May your friendships be blessed jewels in your life.