In the world of digital communication, sending and or even receiving, a “real” Christmas card is a rarity! So this Christmas we decided to get back to the drawing board… and make our own “cards”!
It was a spur of the moment decision that my wife and I headed for the Bambolim beach for a quiet evening. And there we made a chance discovery. In a tiny stream opening out into the sea were numerous of these shells tossing along. We challenged each other into collecting the most, little knowing that they would end up as our Christmas cards.
These “shells” are called Mother-of-Pearl. They were once a common site on the windows of Portuguese villa houses (and today adorn a number of resorts!)
Mother of Pearls are considered an organic mineral and created by mollusks, either oysters or abalones. These mollusks secrete fine proteins whose chemical compound is calcium carbonate, the same that is found in marble and aragonite. This substance is primarily secreted to protect itself from parasitic organisms. The substance of Mother of Pearl is the same substance created when an oyster forms a pearl! While Mother Pearls are usually a glossy or very shiny white, they can also be a slight gray or iridescent color.
Mother of pearl finds itself chopped up as part of tiles for flooring, it is also used for coating sinks and was once used extensively for buttons on jackets, coats and shirts.
On a mystical front, the white iridescent color of the Mother of Pearl can make one feel very peaceful and less stressful and calm!
An appropriate way to wish everyone the peace and warmth of Christmas!