On Finding Things Lost…

(… Things Which Did Not Know They Were Missing)

An old friend found his way back to me tonight. I’ve sent him a note to say hello in the old fashioned way. I’ve emailed him.

I wish I could have said that I used something a bit more archaically romantic– postcard or handwritten letter, but I haven’t got time to wait for a reply.

In the old days, when we were friends before, I always sent him long, dreadful letters in the mail. Those were the days when I knew better to expect a reply, and wouldn’t have wanted one anyway. We lost our friendship for a long time– the way people do when there is no way for resolution except time and the long bridge across it.

I’ve noticed that the distance isn’t as far as I have expected over these years. We are old friends from those sharp, tangy years…my memories of then are cut into glass. Not like the malleable teabag memories of now.

The dog went out for a long walk into the forest. She was sniffing the mushrooms and all the scents left behind by the luscious animals that live here and there. It was all so new! She forgot to remember the scent of me and she forgot to realize she was hungry. Pretty soon, she was far from me, and she was far from her dog bowl, and even though she remembered, she couldn’t think of how to make her way back. Not without help.

A stranger came along and said “Sit down, little girl. You look tired.” So she did. He carried the dog home in his truck, took her off the highway. And his wife used the internet to find me, posting virtual signs for her. Pretty soon, she was home again with me, from her long walkabout.

I am not sure why we come home– what makes our signals beep more urgently toward certain places, certain people. I only know the sound when I hear it. I know the feeling of walking in the woods and looking up, wondering, where am I now? And where is my old friend who helped me find my way?

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 

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