After spending several days looking for my sunglasses recently, I got to thinking about how losing one’s possessions is a curse of the modern world. Who, a hundred years ago, had to worry about misplacing a cell phone or car keys, or even keys to their house, for that matter? With most of the population living on farms I doubt that many doors were locked, and possessions were few.
We humans have almost no history of having to keep track of so much stuff. Now instead of planting the corn or scrubbing clothes on a washboard, we’re looking under sofa cushions and rummaging through pockets. When I lose something I tell myself, “It’s another indication of not being mindful, Connie.” But that’s not much help with the immediate problem.
I did eventually find my sunglasses, and the circumstances under which that happened inspired my thoughts and this post. Here’s the story: I have a beautiful wooden bowl my son, Mark, made and gave to me for my birthday a few years ago. I’ve trained myself to put my keys and glasses there when I come in the house. Usually.
The morning the mystery began I was getting ready to go on my daily walk with my neighbor, Nancy, and my sunglasses were not in the bowl. “Oh, well,” I thought. “They must be in the car or in one of my jacket pockets. I’ll look for them later.” Which I did. Many times. Eventually I decided to buy a cheap pair at CVS to use on my walks while I’m waiting for them to turn up, which I was sure they would.
I was sure because I’d been through this before. A year or two ago when my shades had been missing for several days, they magically appeared in the middle of the floor on the driver’s side of my car. I had previously searched the car, unsuccessfully. Where had they been?
Sure enough. Yesterday morning I was looking for my reading glasses. They weren’t in the bowl where they should have been, but there in plain sight were my missing sunglasses. I was blown away. Can things actually disappear for a time and then reappear? The fact that I could even entertain the idea that they were not there all along probably drops me into the pool of California kooks. Maybe I belong there anyway.