There is an old story from Texas about a cowboy who so loved a woman, that when he was out on the range, he was compelled to stop at times. He would feel like a common school boy and laugh in his own embarrassment, as he thought of his girl and yearned to be with her. He would reach out and touch the edge of shining rocks, which caught his eye, like the real gold he wished he could give her.
Sometimes, this cowboy would grasp a pretty rock, as much to remember the place as to create a connection with his girl. Whenever he would return, sometimes after being gone almost a month, he would reach deep into his saddle bags and bring out a pouch of collected treasures, which he would hand over happily as presents for the object of his affections.
This lucky cowgirl would place them all out on a bandana, and then hide them away like real gems. At night, sometimes her cowboy would take one of these rocks, and work on it, file some here, rough-out certain areas, making a smooth and pleasant shape. Later on, she would add the carved bead to her polishing pouch which was filled with little treasures and sugar sand and tiny bits of rock. It could take a long time, but when her finished bead showed the blue of the ocean and the greens of the forest, or the orange of the desert and the violet of night sky, she would tie them to leather bracelets she always wore, along with any small and shiny trinkets her cowboy might also bring forth from some far away dusty cowtown.
Maybe she didn’t have a lot of money yet, but she carried her treasures around her neck, and around her wrists, a reminder of her handsome buckaroo, his idea first imagined and brought to life. Even her beloved horse had some of her cowboy’s pretty rocks woven into his bridle. All it took was an idea and a little love… And a woman with a whole lot of style…
It might be important to remember that it is not the object, not the material gain, that should be desired, because it represents nothing. Whatever gift we might receive, whatever small token of our relationships, the true worth is in the thoughts and effort that the giver put forth. Given the choice between the most beautiful diamond, and the collected rocks and charms of an ardent cowboy, I’d choose the rocks anytime.