Just like the one I had thrown into the lake so many years before to symbolize that I no longer chose to be shackled to the person who had abandoned me, there was the ring. As I sat late at night looking at everything imaginable on an auction site, I saw a vintage, tarnished version of the English poesy ring I had given my husband for our tenth anniversary. Inside it was inscribed with “All I refuse & thee I chuse”. I had chosen him over all of my dreams.
When he left our house, I felt I had nothing left to give. My life was nowhere to be found. The one I had dreamed of before we met had been scattered to the wind like fallen leaves swept up in a whirlwind of cool Autumn air to be covered by winter’s first snowfall. Buried beneath countless snowstorms, my life lay waiting to be uncovered. To me, it was lost.
As I sorted through things during that long, snowy winter, a silver object rolled out onto the tile countertop. He had not taken it with him. The ring had meant nothing. He had seldom worn it and I remembered asking him on special occasions if he would wear it. To me, it meant that I chose no one else over him. To him, it must have meant that he was enslaved in some sort of prison. The truth was that he had chosen to be married. His mind must have been turning at this point and I had no clue about his thoughts.
I picked the ring up and tried it on. It was too big on my fingers. Into my case it went for the future. Of what? I didn’t know yet. As the years passed, I forgot about it. One day as I was attempting to make things fit into my safe deposit box, I found it again. I put it into my pocket and knew what I wanted to do with it.
As darkness descended upon the harbor, I walked out onto the dock. I took the ring into my hand and threw it as hard as I could out over the water, watching it descend and splash in the cool stillness. I was giving it to the place I loved the most where I had found myself again. I chose the place that felt like home. It was where I wanted to be. The ring was a gift to the lake that had infused my heart with hope and my soul with life. I hoped that it would always lay beneath the beautiful waters of Sunapee. If it was found someday, I hoped it would be by someone who had a true love to give it to and one that would last forever.
I placed a bid on the tarnished ring on the screen before me. Why would I do this? To me, it was a sign. It had been someone else’ ring. Not mine. Not his. Perhaps, it held stories of true love and they would be passed to me. A few days later, I heard a beep on my phone. I had won the ring for only $4.25. Much less than I had paid for the original ring so many years before. Another sign?
As I sorted through the contents of my post office box, I found a small package. Inside the plastic envelope was the ring. It was very tarnished and it looked as though it had been well worn by someone. After I returned to the place I was living, I dropped it in jewelry cleaner and counted to ten. Out came a brighter ring of silver. A polish cloth did the final trick and it looked almost new except for a bit of a scuff on one side. I slipped it onto my finger beneath two other rings so that it would not slip off. And, I decided it would stay there. I thought that maybe I’d be able to give it to someone with a truer heart that would want to wear it and would stay with me no matter what.
Love. I always hoped it would find me again. It hasn’t appeared yet but I know it’s possible. I only have to remove my heart from its prison and let it fly.