If there’s one thing I really love about my hometown, it’s the fact that the beach is only just a 30-minute ride away. It’s the convenience of running away for an hour, and then going back to school to face reality once again over 10 songs inside the car—I could not do that in Manila or Los Banos.
It’s been a daunting week for me, because I’ve been preparing for my college graduation. Hence, all my subjects are demanding so much. The other day, I asked myself if someone were to wave a magic wand and make all my problems disappear, would I become, in time, the happiest person alive? Will I have the perfect day anyone could probably have?
I read a book the other week. It said that once you get your fingers on the important questions, you
can’t turn away from them. As I see it, they have nothing to do with perfection. It has something to do with love, responsibility, spirituality, and awareness.
There are things from your childhood you can never forget, and my first introduction to witchcraft is one of them:
My family had been invited for lunch to a place that was ten minutes away from the sea. It used to be a small farm and the owner had a lamb so I spent my time outside playing with her, and that’s how I found some rocks that had a hole in their center. When the owner of the place noticed, he explained to me that farmers and shepherds used to hang them to their walls to protect themselves from a witch’s curse. These rocks are called Cayeux Cornus in Picard dialect, which translates to “horned stones” which usually just means “flint” but that can also represent the good eye:
This custom is very specific to the region of Santerre, Picardy, and Mr. Lefebvre-Marchand, from the Antiquarian society of Picardy, wrote down a testimony he heard near the town of Chaulnes: he explained that to ward off the evil eye, you had to find a rock with a hole that looked like an eye without looking for it on purpose, and to hang it to the walls of your house or stables. That rocks were so powerful that they could protect the household against all kinds of curses, however, if a witch happened to trespass and close the good eye with a smaller stone, the effects of the talisman would vanish and the witch could do anything to you.
Though it is now rare to see such talismans hanging on houses walls, it is still possible to find those powerful rocks in some farms, just like I did as a kid!
That’s a chin fit for urchin! Using their mighty jaws, California sheephead crunch and munch shelled invertebrates—like sea urchins—for lunch. By pruning the kelp forest of its predators, sheephead contribute to the health of California’s underwater gardens. Thanks to guest Jeff Reynolds for the photo!