This morning I was out in my garden looking at my first crocus blooms when I noticed something sparkling in the mulch near the gate. It was an earring I'd lost almost a year ago, shining in the sunshine. The earrings were handmade by a Navaho silversmith and were an anniversary gift from my husband five years ago. The other one was safely tucked away in my jewelry box though I'd given up every wearing it again because its mate was lost. I had looked all through the house and garden many times but had never seen it. Still, I hadn't given up. I kept asking to find it and St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things, came through at last!
There is so much joy in finding that which has been lost. We know it is there, somewhere, if only our eyes can just see it! Once our cat, Natalie, a long-haired tortoise shell female, escaped from our house while men were working on our roof. In all the noise and stink we didn't realize she'd gotten out until dusk when she didn't come meowing for dinner. We searched the neighborhood for days filled with worry, dread and grief thinking of the packs of coyotes, the bobcats and great horned owls who might do her harm. We called the shelters, the veterinarians, our neighbors, and put up signs all around. After ten days of searching we had to leave town for a long-planned trip. Our cat sitter came to stay at our house and she continued to put out food and water and be there in case Natalie returned. Nearly two weeks later, when we were still away, Natalie showed up at the front door, a little thinner but otherwise quite herself. We cried with joy when we got the news. She couldn't tell us where she'd been for so long but we thought she must have been very nearby the whole time.
When something is lost it is tempting to give up and resign yourself to the loss. But if what is lost is precious you might search for a long time and sometimes the search bears fruit. If you lose your joy, your faith in yourself, your gratitude for being alive, never give up searching for it. Keep calling out to that important part of your soul and stay vigilant. It is worth watching every day, against all odds, until joy returns, like a lost beloved pet, to your front door. It is worth keeping your eyes peeled, faithfully for the gratitude that makes life worth living, which is perhaps just twinkling in the grass at your feet.