A Small Item of Great Value

I thought my luck had once again taken a turn for the worse.

I was sitting in the car preparing to look at a house that I could tell from the street was not what I had in mind. I reached up to tuck some hair behind my ear and I felt something hard against my fingers. I thought it was some kind of insect; I had visions of my fingers closing on the chitinous shell of a Japanese beetle- a vision which was not alleviated when the object fell from my hair down the front of my shirt. I perhaps overreacted by flinging it across the car in the exuberance of panic. It was only after it landed in the change tray that I realized it was the back of my earring. It was only after I realized that I’d lost the back off my earring that I realized, more importantly, that I’d lost the earring itself.

In general I am not too sentimental about losing earrings because I usually save the orphaned pieces to use as decorations on my miniature Christmas tree, but these particular earrings were a different story. These particular earrings held both intrinsic and sentimental value to me. I was pretty sure that it was A Bad Sign that I’d lost one of them.

When we finished looking at the houses Danellyn drove me to the train station where he’d picked me up. Realizing we still had half an hour before the train was due he suggested we go back to the Starbucks where he picked me up earlier in the afternoon and I went, but I was not hopeful. I checked the bathroom while Danellyn consulted with the cashier to find out whether anything had been turned in in our absence. Nothing had. I felt resigned to the fact that my luck was bad and that the earring was gone.

And then it wasn’t. The cashier joined the search when we routed two other patrons from their chairs in order to inspect the floor and it was his sharp eyes that picked it out against the grout between the tiles. The earring was found. It had been worth going back to look for it; even for something as small and unlikely as a lost earring.

But the point I’d like to make isn’t about an earring at all; the point I’d like to make is about the small items of great value: faith, luck, hope, patience, nerve, inspiration, that we sometimes lose without realizing it. The point I would like to make is that just because something is lost doesn’t mean it’s gone forever.

In spite of my better judgement I’ve felt lately that I’ve lost my sense of direction in life. This seems like a small thing since time, and by necessity, life only moves in one direction, but I have this impulse to live deliberately and to not be a pawn to the currents of circumstance. I had begun to fear that I had lost my way and that I would never find it again.

When I found my earring I was reminded that to find something that is lost you have to look for it. The small items that we take for granted sometimes have to be earned more than once. While finding the earring was important to me, the lesson that I learned in the act of searching for it turned out to be more important. The small item of great value that I found that night was more than just an earring; it was a truth.

I am grateful that I found what I had lost and I am grateful to my tommyluck for the opportunity to learn this truth. I am also grateful to the sharp eyes of Sean at the Itasca Starbucks, so if you happen to find yourself ordering a coffee there, please be sure to tip generously.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on February 12, 2010.

3 Responses to “A Small Item of Great Value”

  1. Glad you found your earring and that it reminded you that you have not lost yourself. As we immerse ourselves in the lives of our partners, we need to always remember that it is the self that must remain in tact. We need to keep our own separate identities. (refer to Gibran’s The Prophet)
    I love Starbuck’s, and I’m always comforted by that distinct aroma of coffee that warms the shops and the special kinds of folks who frequent them.

  2. I once managed to find a friend’s lost gold earring on a beach. I thought that was quite impressive. (OK, lucky too.)

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