Writing 101, Day Sixteen: Serial Killer III – Lost and Found

I have found that often the small losses we face in our lives bring about our greatest lessons.  I used to have a stone bear charm that I worn all the time.  Twenty four hours a day.  Something in me wanted – needed – a charm to protect against the world.  I choose the bear since it was 1) the charm I found and 2) Bears are big and strong and utterly fierce.  What better protection could one want?

Years later, I looked down and discovered the charm was gone, lost after so many years of protection.  I distinctly remember sitting there, waiting to see what I might feel. Loss?  Anger?  Betrayal?  I never once considered that I might feel calm.  But it was calm that came over me at that moment and I started to remember other things I’d lost in my life.  A earring on the beach.   A National Aquarium tee-shirt on the Baltimore Inner Harbor.  It occurred to me that perhaps my losses were part of the universal plan.  Perhaps a homeless person found the shirt.  I could image his joy at the find.  Surely to somebody with so little a tee-shirt would be a treasure. To me, it was just a souvenir.

And what of the earring on the beach?  Yes, I’d been upset.  What the heck was I supposed to do with just one favorite earring?  And then I wondered who might have picked up that earring; was it a treasure for them too?  What could they do with one earring?  Make a pin out of it?  Had some free spirit who liked to wear different earrings spied it in the sand?  Or had it disappeared into the ocean to wash up on a foreign shore like a strange bottomless message?

As for my bear…. as much as I hated to lose something that had become such a part of me, I realized that maybe it had been time for the charm to go. Maybe there was somebody else, somewhere, who needed that strength and ferocity, just as I had, to get them through a hard time.

I don’t *like* to lose things that are mine, but I’m come to accept that the things we *own* aren’t always really ours.  They are entrusted into our care for a reason, whether to help us get through a hard time, to comfort us in loss or bring joy where there is stress and despair.  Then, once their job is done, those things often move on to find the next person who might need their power.

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