This weekend at the Greek Festival, besides eating and enjoying an incredible amount of food (this list plus Bud's new favorite, gyro), the kids and Mama bought me a set of worry beads, or komboloi. These Greek beads, similar to a rosary but with a more secular nature, are frequently fingered by Greek men (on two trips to Greece, I never saw a woman with a set; now apparently, only tourists buy them), seemingly absentmindedly. The set they bought is similar to this picture, with silver beads and the blue "eye" (matiasma) symbol of Greece, but with a black cord and tassel. I asked them to purchase the beads as I'd recently read a book, Simply Pray (more on this book soon), about the spiritual practice of prayer beads. Instead of making my own, I thought I'd use these (I had a plain plastic blue set, years ago, from my 1989 trip to Greece).
Bud is fascinated by them. He has come upstairs many times to finger the beads, wrap them around his hand, twirl them as I told him Greek men do. In fact, I've noticed that they calm him down. Three times now when he has been overwhelmed or upset, he has taken up the beads, sat on his bed, and calmed down quickly. It's almost meditative for him. And it definitely releases his worries . . . .