Lost & Found

It's June and the sun is shining in Seattle. Summer has sometimes been a season of joy and relief, but this year I can still feel the shadow of the pandemic and all that's been lost. My heart's still heavy with worry for dear friends and family who continue to suffer from a variety of health, financial, and relationship problems. Some of these troubles are pandemic related, but some are just life being hard. And yet, and yet...

There are new opportunities to see people again, and lots of plans afoot to travel and reconnect. I'm spending more and more time outside, wandering, and daydreaming. I'm enjoying beachcombing and looking forward to exploring new shorelines. 

Most of you know that I regularly collect many of the odd bits and pieces I find washed up. 

Toys, and sea glass, and bit and bobs of whatever happens to reveal itself. 

I always leave the shells and stones, as they feel part of the natural landscape and ecosystem, but I routinely pick up manmade things and trash. Sometimes these items feel steeped in metaphor and mystery. I keep those. 

Sometimes I only find junk and toss it in the garbage cans on the way out of the park. 

I dream, all the time, of finding actual treasure, or even better, the message in a bottle it feels I've been waiting for my entire life. 

Today, I wandered onto a new path at my usual beach park. I never take this particular path, though I've passed it hundreds and hundreds of times. It leads to the edge of a pond, popular with ducks and human visitors. 

Today, I found treasure there. 

A small golden ring (can you see it?),

set with a bit of geode-like iridescent crystal, muddied but still sparkling.

It was too big for me. And I don't usually wear gold. 

I thought for a long time about what the ring could mean, and whether I should keep it. (Yes, with lots of Tolkien running through my mind.) I considered that it might belong to a Fae (who I am loath to anger), or to a tearful young girl who could return any minute searching for it, or possibly to a bitter and busy lady with so many rings that she'd never miss it at all. I wondered, briefly, if someone had left it there on purpose. Possibly for me.

I held it in my hand for a long time. I couldn't make sense of it.

Eventually,  I set it down and accepted that I didn't have to understand it. I could just let it go. 

Last year, in the heart of the pandemic, I found another ring in a different park and kept it, feeling that it was a treasure I somehow needed because everything else was so hard. But I've worried ever since that someone misses that ring. That it was yet another loss for someone in a year of terrible losses. 

This evening I'm going to post signs about last year's ring in the park where I found it and see if anyone texts me. I doubt it, but you never know. 

I know very little, really, but somehow, I'm glad for these small, sparkling reminders.

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