I lost my favourite scarf last month. I’d spent days looking everywhere for it: under the bed, in the campervan, in the shed, but it had just vanished. And as the days grew colder I missed it even more. It’s just the right size (one size does not fit all, not really) and the colours always cheer me up. It’s also been all around the world with me in our Big Year Out in the van so I’m emotionally attached to the thing. I was just getting to the point of letting it go when, you’ve guessed it, there it was. I visited an old family cottage in the north coast as a birthday treat and it was languishing (attractively) on the chaise longue by the window. I found it when I wasn’t even looking for it.
And then to top it all off I wandered into a secondhand bookshop and there on a shelf was a literature book I recognised from my university days. Smiling, I picked it up and opened the front flap, thinking I’d jog my memory about what was inside. Reader, it was my VERY OWN COPY. There in teenaged handwriting was my name. I last opened those pages in 1994. It had obviously been upset to be given away and had relentlessly tracked me down ever since. I held it to my chest and whispered sorry. Needless to say I bought it and have added it to my library once more. Another lost item that I found without even trying.
I think I try too hard for all sorts of things. Trying to make a success of writing, trying to find a healthy life balance, trying to foster good friendships. But so often life just falls into place when you least expect it. Some things flourish when they’re left alone a bit (plants do this too, for some reason I still cannot fathom, I definitely try too hard to keep the damn things alive) so I’m trying to hold life more gently. After all, if I grasp onto it too hard, there’s a chance I’ll choke it, so I’m letting life breathe around me. I’ll walk among trees, I’ll notice more, I’ll stroke my cat’s soft face and not seek anything else in that moment. Oh and I’ll wrap my scarf around me and hold onto my books, knowing that even if I lose them again, they’ll find their way back to me in the end.