04/09/2014 05:57 pm ET Updated Jun 09, 2014

A Diamond in the Dust

Recently I exchanged my Manhattan apartment of 26 years for a home in the country 90 miles north of the city. The move was a lesson in learning to let go. It was also a test of perseverance.

Some time ago I lost a small diamond stud. It was never found, and I am convinced it lay somewhere in my crowded apartment. As we packed, I repeated to my husband, David, "Be careful what you move or throw out. Maybe we'll find the diamond."

It was a needle in the haystack thought given the amount of furniture and bric-a-brac in our crowded apartment. But I persevered and never gave up hope. During the final day of sweeping the apartment, I hunched over and carefully examined every pan of dust... just in case. There was a lot of dust but no diamond.

But it was the final sweep of the day that reminded me never to give up or lose focus. As I leaned over one last time to inspect the dustpan, I saw something light. It was a small stone whose sparkle was dimmed by the dust. I carefully placed it in a plastic bag and then proceeded to misplace the bag. Frantically, we unpacked the last three duffel bags and peered in every plastic bag. Finally, I found the stone.

"Do you think it's real?" David asked.

"I don't know or care at this point," I responded. "What matters is that I found the stone because I never gave up hope or trying. It's a sign that my life moving forward is destined to have sparkle and it's important to always look for the brilliance. It's my hope diamond-cubic-zirconia."

Fresh off the clean sweep of our Manhattan apartment, we've just started to clean out the debris left by this year's volatile relationship between Mother Nature and Old Man Winter. We've become rather adept at clearing debris and looking for signs of renewal. Now, it's in the form of spring blossoms which are just starting to poke up out of the leaves and displaced grass and mud from the storms and the plow.

Just as I felt when I found my "diamond" in the dusty apartment, I shiver with excitement when I see a glimpse of bright yellow daffodil buds or purple crocus. They are signs of hope that something brilliant is about to pop up.

The jeweler confirmed the inauthenticity of the "diamond," but it doesn't matter, because I consider the experience another authentic set of life lessons: If you look hard enough and stay focused you will find diamonds in the dust. You may need to clear out the debris to find the brilliance. And you should never lose your sparkle.