Thank goodness for vacations. Time to slow down and take inventory so to speak. Whenever I start misplacing items such as the keys, the phone, the form that was to be turned in yesterday, or my favorite coffee cup, I take it as my own personal litmus test indicating that I need to stop and notice. By the time vacation rolled around, the realization of how many things we had lost was too long to list. You could say it was not unlike a microcosm of the realities and wonders of middle age.
This month seemed to be about losing things. Finding some of them. And not finding others.
I suppose that is what our life is about, really, the waning and waxing of gain and loss. Each day, we lose stuff– we lose a day of our finite lives, we lose brain cells, skin elasticity, and time. We lose track of friends, family, keys, and license renewal dates. We lose and we gain weight, health, inspiration, and hope. Some lost things we are elated to rediscover, others we are happy to live without, while some disappear or appear without our permission or control.
So we adjust.
We lost the camera battery charger, and learned to adjust to being dependent on pictures taken by others.
We lost a multitude of various objects, large and small, that had been carefully placed in boxes for safe keeping. We discovered this vacation that many of them had seemingly vanished completely, despite how much we rummaged and searched and organized.
Wearing the proper eyewear seemed to help with the search for the lost objects, even if it got us into some sticky situations.
We looked into all the nooks and crannies we could think of. They say sometimes the thing you lost can be found where you least expect it.
We did find coconuts in the savannah after dark. For this, we were pleased as punch.
Some of the lost objects were stuck in obvious places we didn’t think to look through even though they were right in front of our very eyes.
We looked under water
and deep within earthly crevices.
At one point we even hired some finding-specialists, with extra finding hands on their heads. As earnestly as they searched, they did not unearth the lost objects,
much to their dismay.
We conducted search parties through the remotest of areas.
although there was often disagreement
as to which direction our dowsing rod was actually advising us to go.
This confusion often led to feelings of despair and melancholy.
But we didn’t let that stop us. We continued to take great risks in our search to find the lost things;
diving into unknown territory,
riding the waves of our hunches.
We even employed a detection dog to sniff out what we had lost.
At some points, we had to marvel at how many things we were misplacing. At these times, we took a break from searching to take our minds off of the hunt; catch up on some reading
or work on some therapeutic word retrieval activities.
Some people say, if you stop thinking about it for a day or two to clear your head, you just might find what you are looking for in due time.
So we paused to take in the view.
But before too much time passed, we started up the search again,
determined to find everything that went missing, like that little yellow ball we hadn’t seen since last summer,
our hope for the future
or that library book we swore we had already returned.
With each find, we celebrated with a congratulatory pat on the back
followed by the secret and complicated “way to go” handshake.
We found that sometimes, you have to digress from the posted rules to find what you have lost.
Ultimately, some of the things we think we can’t live without turn out to be unnecessary and underwhelming when we finally get a hold of them;
while some of the treasures we find are as essential as breath itself.