A Gift For Sofia

One day, a new shop had appeared on a side street downtown.

If you were to peek in, you’d see a thin, ageless woman in bright clothes, her hair worn in a messy bun. She’d greet you in a friendly manner and you’d feel warm and welcome.

My colleague told me she’d visited that shop to buy a little stone.

“A stone?”, you might ask.

Yes, a stone.

Let me tell you a (somewhat) true story…

A woman entered the new healing stone boutique, thinking of buying her friend a gift. Her friend had so much of everything that buying an interesting gift had become a difficult task. Surely she wouldn’t have a healing stone from this store.

The woman explained her thoughts to the owner. While she was talking, the owner took out a wand and asked for the friend’s name.

“Nina,” the woman replied.

Then the boutique owner’s face grew solemn, as she started chantingly repeating, “Nina, Nina… do we have a stone for Nina?”… and the wand started to wiggle fiercely, like an Ouija board.

It quickly became obvious the wand wanted to lead its owner in a certain direction. Both women ended up at a table displaying stone after stone, colorful and beautiful, sparkling and of all shapes. Healing stones, crystal rocks, gemstones.

“Ah!” said the woman touching a stone that stood out to her, “Such beauty!”

“That one is not for Nina,” said the owner lady. This is for Nina. She has experienced illness and now she needs strength to recover. This stone will help her. This is what she needs.”

“Oh… okay. Thank you, it’s quite pretty,” thought the woman, slightly surprised at the coincidence: Nina was indeed recovering from a long-term illness.

“And… well, come to think of it, I do have another friend… Maria. Do you have a stone for Maria?”

“Let’s see…”  the owner took out the wand again. No wiggles this time. “No, we don’t have a stone for Maria.”

“What do you mean? No stones in stock?” the woman asked, looking at the store with its shelves full of stones in all shapes and sizes. How odd. “Will you be getting one in the future?”

“No, we won’t be getting any stones for Maria in the future, either. No stones for Maria.”

As she was relaying this story to me, my colleague gave me a knowing wink: Maria doesn’t believe in things like this and would certainly have rolled her eyes if she had been presented with a stone. It went exactly as it was supposed to go.

She then continued to tell me of all the other times this woman had visited the store…

…to buy her daughter a stone, to which the owner had replied, “Doesn’t she already have several?” This was true and she had left empty-handedly.

…to buy a relative’s husband a birthday gift stone in the shape of a heart. She had at first protested, quite naturally, (“I can’t give a heart to another man!”) but then she’d given in, after being told he needed the heart-shaped stone to recover from grief. He had accepted the gift with grace. There had recently been a heart attack in his family.

…and finally, to buy a stone for her sister’s birthday.

Now her sister, Sofia, was very picky and so it was important that the stone be exceptionally beautiful.

Once again, the owner woman performed the wiggle ritual with her wand, chanting, “Do we have a stone for Sofia? Do we have a stone for Sofia? Sofia, Sofia…”

The woman watched intensely as the wand wiggled its way towards a table of the most exquisite stones, more beautiful than jewels. She had trouble deciding which one she preferred since they were all so beautiful, but the owner took charge yet again.

“This one is for Sofia,” the owner said.

The woman’s heart sank: it was quite an ugly stone to tell the truth, the only ugly one in sight, actually. It had a weird combination of all sorts of colors, mostly orange, green, and brown.

But the owner talked her into it, telling her in surprising ways how it suited Sofia.

To top it off, the stone was from Mexico. Sofia had just come back from Mexico, where she’d spent several years.

Okay, this is the one then, thought the woman.

And as she held the stone, and turned it over and over in her fingers, she started to notice that there were little spikes and edges that were actually quite pleasing to the eye.

The stone grew on her.

And then it enchanted her. She was happy with her decision.

Nevertheless, when time for the birthday party came, the woman was nervous: what would Sofia think?

She was greeted warmly at the door by Sofia’s husband – all the other guests had already arrived. Sofia was wearing a dashing bright blue dress, not a color she would normally wear. The dress looked almost electric, it was so bright.

In front of all the guests, she handed over the gift, wrapped nicely in a cute package.

And when Sofia opened the present, the reaction was positive.

“Why, this looks quite nice, it could be a jewel to wear with this dress, or a brooch! How did you know I would be wearing this color?”

Sofia was holding the stone in her hand: the stone was the exact same shade of blue as the dress.


As the woman left the party, Sofia’s husband saw her out again, laughing warmly.

As he was closing the door, he said,

“How funny that the stone matched the missus’ dress so perfectly! How did you know?”

(Blogger’s note: I don’t believe in these things myself but I thought it made for a nice story!)

45 replies on “A Gift For Sofia”

How can you not want to go to this shop??? Or is your story so well told, you made us all believe in something which does not really exist…?

Liked by 1 person

I am skeptical to believe these things unless I have a first-hand experience myself (hasn’t happened). What a lovely story-writing, Snow! 🙂 I can totally see myself buying your future novel 😉 What’s the photo of at the end? It’s abstract but quite beautiful. The reflections and the colors.

Liked by 1 person

Thanks dear Pooja! If I ever write a novel, I’ll send you a free copy 😋 with no obligations to read it! For now, blogging will have to do. The photo is from a tapas place I recently tried, I sat there with that reflection for the whole time and finally decided to snap a photo 😊

Liked by 1 person

Eeeee, you don’t fool me with the Blogger’s note. You must believe in it a liiiiitle because you know it’s true! 😉

This is an excellent story and so well told. I could see it all happen so clearly. My sister is Nina too and I’d LOVE to go to that store to get a stone for her. I’d go to the beach for one but there is only sand here… In a parallel life, I’m that store owner. Thank you for this!

Liked by 1 person

Aaah, in a parallel life! No wonder I was drawn to this story when my colleague told it to me. It’s her story actually, I just changed it a tiny bit, the names for example. Told with her permission 😊 But I didn’t know that was your sister’s name, how odd it’s the name that popped into my mind! Another piece of magic right there!

Liked by 1 person

I guess it depends, but science is constantly saying ‘this is a fact’ and then later saying, ‘oh wait, we’ve discovered something else so this is the new fact.’ I don’t think anyone has a firm grip on the right to say ‘this is what’s going on.’

Liked by 1 person

I believe in science too. I’d have made a good scientist, every few months announcing I’d found a new invisible particle! I was particularly pleased by the recent announcement that some mathematician had calculated pi to several trillion places, like anyone is going to go through all those numbers and say, ‘wait, that should be a two, not a three.’

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