The short story is that the Broken Diamond is our ranch’s cattle brand. It is the two halves of a diamond shape offset enough to show that it is broken. This brand was placed on the left hip of our cows so they couldn’t be lost or stolen as they grazed the mountains around our home.
The longer story is that the Broken Diamond represents my life; the people who came before me, the experiences that made me, and the legacy I will leave for those who come after. One of those people who was a big part of me becoming the person I am was the creator of the brand, Charlotte Crockett.
Charlotte Crockett was “grandma” to me, but she was so much more than that. She was a strong, independent widow who ran a large cattle ranch on her own. She was a writer. She was a musician. She was a woman with a passion for international adventure and a thirst for knowledge. It was not uncommon for her to ride on a cattle drive, feed animals, butcher chickens, plant flowers, bake pies, make candy, drink tea with a friend, write an article for the newspaper, sing and play her guitar with friends, feed all of her family members, watch Murder She Wrote with her grandchildren, Etc. - all within a 48-hour period. She was also a little girl raised in a home filled with alcoholism, poverty, struggle, and loss. Charlotte Crockett was living proof to me that brokenness, hardness, and beauty could coexist within one amazing human - a Broken Diamond. That is what the family brand will always mean to me.
Broken. We often see that word as a bad thing. Something that is broken is often seen as ruined or no longer useful.
Diamond. We equate diamonds with beauty and value. Of any natural material, diamond has the highest hardness and highest thermal conductivity. It is used in tools that need to create immense pressure and must withstand high heat.
The properties that make a diamond beautiful and valuable do not disappear when it is broken. The smaller pieces that have been broken off, the remaining pieces with chips or dents, or the thin shards that sliver off are still diamond. They still have the highest hardness and thermal conductivity. They still shine. They can still withstand immense pressure. This is what I think of when I think of what it means to be a Broken Diamond. Our lives will lead us through experiences that will chip away at us, break us into different shapes of ourselves, or even create painful shards; but the properties that make us what we are will remain.
As I think about the next steps in my own life, one thing that remains constant for me is that I want to recognize the blend of brokenness and beauty that exists within and around us all. We are all in pieces at times...and yet we are all still diamonds.