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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fools gold/iron pyrite - by Bruce

Real gold or fools gold? Something that we should ask ourselves often. The vial on the left is the real thing. That is a one ounce vial that is about half full. When I first started to prospect for gold I thought I knew the difference but as they say now a days, I didn't know squat. Experience and a lot of trial and error slowly taught me the difference between the fake and the real stuff. Pretty much the same thing with people too except that a lot of the fakes are much harder to detect. Once you have found real gold in your pan there is no mistake, you can identify it anytime. If you ever wonder why it is so valuable I can tell you that it is hard to come by and that half ounce represents 4 years and tons of dirt moved one shovel full at a time.

I'll never forget one of my first trips prospecting in Central Colorado. I went to the nearest prospecting store and asked where a good place to go would be. I was directed to a certain portion of a river and once I lugged all my equipment to the river bank and looked into the water I knew I would be rich before the end of the day. Every where I looked the bottom glittered yellow. I scooped up a pan of dirt and went to work; seeing nothing but dollar signs. Only problem was the gold flakes kept washing right out of my pan. I thought it was my technique. Nothing worked at keeping that gold in my pan. Enthusiasm kept me going for a time but finally I wore down. After a while I remembered something I had read wherein gold was the last thing left in the bottom of your pan because it was so heavy. It dawned on me that this might be fools gold. I went from being rich to bust. Dollar signs went to cents signs to -0-. I ended up shoveling dirt into a pan until my back hurt so bad I couldn't straighten up and ended up with a few grains of gold and sunburn.

There are some parallels in gold prospecting and life. Nothing usually comes easy. Some people go to the bank of a river, stick their shovel in and come up with a nugget the first time. For the 99.99% of the rest of us, we shovel all day for a tiny amount of gold. We ache, sweat, shovel until we can't hardly lift the shovel all for a tiny speck of 'real' gold. There is something about the real thing that drives us on. It is the same with friends. Some come and go and some are the 'real' thing. Solid gold through out. My wife is the real thing solid 100% pure gold. They could set the gold standard by her.

Then there are those who are gems of tremendous value like in the middle vial and the vial on the right. They are precious gems and last forever. They may not be pure gold but they are valuable in so many other ways. They are real gems found when you are usually looking for something else. They have special value to you. The middle vial is full of pea sized garnets that I found while prospecting for gold. They are always a pleasant surprise and go very well with gold. When you hold them up to the sun they glow and sparkle. Real friends do that too.

Without getting philosophical it doesn't take much to make some comparisons between prospecting and life. You look hard for gold, and try many different locations. Same with life. If you finally do find it you have worked hard for it. It has heft, brightness, and allure to it. It is durable, and lasts forever, but is pliable. I could go on but when you are standing in freezing water and your feet are numb and your head is baking in the sun, you look around you at all the beauty that surrounds you, it is time to think about things like this. Prospecting is hard work and you have to be persistent to succeed, and sometimes you find the real thing, and sometimes you end up with fools gold and river rock. Life is the same way. You generally get out of it what you put into it. Nothing profound, just something we need to be reminded of every now and then. Are we putting our effort into finding real gold or fool's gold? Just some random thoughts to consider.


Deirdre said...

In days gone by some lucky women had sonnets written to and/or about them. In more recent days men are sing rap songs to and about their ideas of feminine perfection. To my mind, this blog post referencing your wife is up there with the best of the sonnets, and of course, it towers over any of the rap accolades. And I agree, by the way: Carol is the real deal, and so are you for recognizing the real thing. Hat tip and big smile to both of you!

Pat said...

You and Carol are the real thing… real gold. I thank God for you both.

Anonymous said...

When we come out in early July next summer Lori and Frank want to try panning for gold. We'll have to get your advice on what we need (pans, shovels, etc). I have a few places on Wagon Creek in mind (my lot is one of them).

If you and Carol are free and what to come, all the better!


Bruce said...

Rob: I have plenty of equipment. It will be great to join you in Wagon Creek prospecting. I have found gold here in our community - in fact I found two pickers just down the road from where we live. One was pretty cool as it was shaped like a cowboy boot.
If you have a shovel, I have the rest of the equipment. It will be fun to prospect with you guys.

Anonymous said...

Cool! Looking forward to it.

. . . Rob