Most of us have had the experience of misplacing something. We usually start the search for the missing item by looking for it in all of the usual, logical places. If you always leave your keys on the shelf by the door, that’s the first place you look. But, if the item is truly lost, it won’t be in the usual place. It will be somewhere else. Somewhere unexpected, somewhere mysterious, somewhere unknown to you.
In some cases, you may not even realize the item was missing. One day you help your child clean his room. You reach into the very bottom of the toy box and feel something slightly furry. You pick up the Frisbee and discover a long-discarded peanut butter sandwich, completely covered with dark fuzz, lurking underneath.
Then there is the sad story of one half of a pair of a particularly nice socks which disappears somewhere in the laundry. Logically, you search the washer, the dryer, the clothes basket, the hallway and any laundry that recently shared space with the missing sock. After an unsuccessful search, you set the sock aside and wait for the missing sock to reveal itself. Two months later, you give up and toss the sock.
The next week, you find the missing sock deep in the pocket of a king-sized bottom sheet. Too late for a reunion, you toss the second sock.
I have misplaced other, more valuable items including the tie belt to a bathrobe found wound around the front roller of an old up-right vacuum cleaner and a credit card hidden in the zippered pocket of a rarely used wallet.
While it is sometimes a delight and sometimes a relief to recover a lost item, it is also a reminder that life is not a matter of collecting and keeping “things.”