What's the difference between a gem stone and a rock? You have to want to love a rock. You have to see something that no one else can or will see. Everyone loves a gem, even flawed ones. They come in all sizes, cuts, colors, and values. Some sparkle to capture your attention and imagination, others dangle from slender threads of hope. They make you feel special until one day the novelty wears off. And then you want another one, a bigger one, or one with more facets, or maybe fewer flaws. Rocks on the other hand are very simple things made up of all the same elements just packed differently, more gently. Scrub off the grime and sand off the rough exterior and you often find something worth keeping after all. When was the last time you threw away a turquoise bracelet or a lapis lazuli pendant? Do you think these semi-precious stones just lie around for the taking? No, someone had to work them first. More often than not what you find in your little stone is more precious than most gems simply because you had to work hard to produce it yourself; you had to earn it, no one gave it to you. You yearned to love that rock as you also learned to love yourself. "If its worth having, its worth fighting for". I don't know who said it but it is true. Read another way and it says "If you want it, fight for it". I read it as "Make it yours because you fought for it, not because it was bestowed upon you". We value what we are given. We cherish what we earn. Love is like that rock. Long, honest conversations, helping hands, open hearts and minds are the rouges that you need to start finding the gem within. Heart felt kisses, memorable hugs, and warming caresses are the lubricants needed to temper the forming process. But patience and devotion are the buffers that will yield you the ultimate keepsake. How hard are you willing to work for your little stone? I really want to know. "I am a rock. I am an island. And the rock feels no pain. And an island never cries." S&G.