The beginning of the story, is the same for all of us. We all lose things and spend
time cursing ourselves for not being more organized while we look everywhere to
find this lost thing. We search through piles of junk from our emptied bags. We
visit the under and behind worlds of our daily existence. Dusty tipped fingernails
crawl through the crumb filled habitat under the couch cushions where once puffed popcorn has long ago given up; it’s flattened carcass like an old bottle cap on a busy road; we can see only potential lost. That is all there is in those parallel universes:
loss, but not the lost thing we search to find!
But it has to be somewhere! Right? We share common stories of looking for an
item “everywhere” and then finding it in the first place you looked, or in your pants pocket as you were looking for your car keys, or in the fridge next to the mustard.
Why would I put my wallet in the fridge? Or, finding a long ago forgotten lost item
when you were looking for something else. Can it be true that we lose and find
things as needed? I am not talking about money, or car keys, or medication, no,
nothing that is vital to our existence, but just things, the extras that we fill our life
with, those things. I believe we find what we need, when we need it and whatever
we lose, will be found by someone else exactly when they need it. I do not believe
this because I have profound faith in things working themselves out. Ha! If you
know me, you know that I certainly do not possess that type of wisdom. I believe it, because I was taught this lesson one day in my own backyard. If this story didn’t
happen to me, I wouldn’t believe it. Perhaps you have some faith in all things
working out and you will believe it, but if not, this will happen to you too sometime.
You will find yourself in your own story, when you need it the most.
I love cedar trees. They are one of my favorite trees, solely because I think they
look really cool inside and out. They seem prehistoric in a way I can’t describe. I
was sad when we lost the tall dead cedar tree (the dead ones are the most beautiful)
to a big wind storm that ripped through our town, so I decided to “replant” it. I spent
the better part of a smokey gray fall day cleaning up from the storm and digging a
wide deep hole to prop up the 20 foot cedar. I had to call my adult sons over to help
me get that tree off the ground and into its new home. They obliged, but perhaps
gave a little thought to what I was doing outside in the rain, “planting” a dead tree.
I was covered in earth dust, feeling great and I started to fill the hole in around the trunk while my sons talked about their interests above my head, in their world. As
soon as the tree was secure, they were free and I was grateful for the use of their
non-judgemental muscles. But the tree needed more help in order to stand strong.
I looked around our yard of eclectic items. It seemed I could always find what I
needed there, the right rock, or exact bent branch. I started to stuff some rocks in
the hole, but what I needed was a wedge of some kind. I held the tree as my eyes scanned the area for anything to stuff in the hole, but I found nothing. I left the
shaky tree and went to the basement, knowing that somewhere in that collection of collections I could find something that I could use as a wedge, but to my surprise
there wasn’t anything that I could remotely mold into any kind of strong wedge. I
was determined, and then the rain started. It was torrential and I gave one final
glance around the yard, searching before I went inside, hoping the tree would be standing in the morning. It rained all night, hard rain, loud rain, rain that could
uproot trees, especially recently re-planted uprooted trees!
In the morning sun the cedar branches looked even more craggly; simply beautiful always searching for that big star, once again reaching upward. I went outside to
check on the hole and there, right next to the hole, was a 7 inch long steel wedge.
That is the truth. I dropped to my knees and picked up that wedge in absolute astonishment. The torrential rain tossed and turned some years of earth around to unveil this item. In that moment, I thought about the diamond that fell out of my engagement ring in a garden, never to be found, again, by me. But someone found
that diamond. Perhaps it became a favorite rock in a recycled shoebox forgotten
about under a bed. I wondered if the wedge had been lost by someone so long ago. How long did they search? I stuck the wedge in the hole and of course it was a
perfect fit and that tree stands today, years later later.
We will find things and we will most certainly lose things. But they are all just
things circulating among us. I am not ready to have this story become the metaphor
it wants to be. We may already embrace the idea that hidden in our losses, are
lessons. But what about our discoveries; are there lessons too in the things we find?
We will each decide that for ourselves, whenever we need it most.