Anywhere but the same environment I’d been stuck in for over a year. And we did all of that -- a thousand times over -- but I also found myself gravitating repeatedly to the olive trees that dotted the landscape. For all my desire to escape, I was drawn to something that represented home to me.

You see, I grew up with this immense adoration towards olive trees. Thousands of miles away from Greece, I was raised to understand the power of the olive. The way it provided food and shelter. Every fall, we’d drop everything excited to try the new batches of olive oil made during the season’s harvest. Basically, it’s been such a significant part of my life, and my identity.

So there I was, confronted with a symbol of familiarity in a place so unfamiliar. In Athens, we were told how the Greek goddess Athena and the Ocean king Poseideon fought for the land, desirable as it was. Poseidon entreated the residents to choose him by gifting them water, but it was salty, like the ocean. Athena offered a seed that sprouted to a noble olive tree, offering food, firewood, and material. She offered a future with that seed — and they obviously picked her, naming the city after her.

The trees have thrived in the area for centuries, despite weather and time; there’s a beauty to their steadiness and sturdiness.

Everytime we passed one, I’d run a hand over the age and weather-roughened bark. Still standing after generations. Still providing. My sisters joked about my arboreal obsession — a whole packet of vacation photos features yours truly admiring various olive trees we’d come across.

The trees reminded me that home isn’t necessarily an address or a building. It’s a feeling. It’s warmth, and safety, and love. It’s being your truest self without fear. I felt at home next to those olive trees. Home away from home.

So here I am, wanting to share that feeling. Only you can really know the people, or things, that give you a sense of constant home, but here’s mine.

These little olive wood hearts, hand-carved in Bethlehem, will accompany all jewelry orders.

Here’s a piece of my heart, and my home, for you.

Please note: quantities are limited.
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