There aren’t as many umbrellas in my closet as there used to be. Some friends constantly lose them. I never do, but I give them away. The truth is I find it awkward to carry a walking stick and an umbrella at the same time, so I no longer use umbrellas.
What I do, however, use and lose — are scarves, and a few are gone as a result. I have one scrarf, however, that has, to date, refused to be lost in spite of me.
During this holiday season, there are more lunches out with friends than usual, and that very scarf was admired by one friend when I removed it and draped it over the back of my chair the other day. Sure enough, I walked out into the street before I realized I had left it behind. When I went back to retrieve it, I swear I could hear it whisper “Not again!” Or, was that just a rustling sound….
The first time I lost it was years ago. It was at the Arts Club Theatre on Granville Island. I had left it behind one evening after seeing a play. After I realized it, I turned back and was allowed into the empty theatre to retrieve it. I was pleased I found it. I like it. It did not scold me — after all, it was only the first time.
The next time I lost it it really wasn’t my fault. It was extremely windy and the rain came down in torrents. I struggled for balance and my neighbour/friend Beryl and I giggled like schoolgirls when my umbrella blew inside-out.
Soaked and disheveled, we managed to reach the theatre just blocks away. Not until the movie was over did I notice my scarf was missing. A theatre employee helped me search for it. I didn’t find it anywhere near my seat, so he showed me numerous scarves people had turned in, but none was mine. I was disappointed…..
“Let’s walk home exactly the way we came,” I suggested — it was a long shot.
“It was so wet and windy, even if you did lose it in the street, it would have blown far away by now,” responded Beryl, ever the pragmatist. Besides, we had planned to go back another way so we could pass a coffee shop and after all, she probably was looking forward to that.
“I know, I know, but….”
Beryl had to be right. I began to feel foolish as we walked and was in the middle of apologizing to her when we spotted something in the middle of the road. I stopped. She read my mind.
“It’s not your scarf. It’s a dirty rag.” She was sure and I believed her. Her vision was better than mine, but I still had to step off the curb, walk over to it and poke it, pick it up and study it and…whaddayaknow, it was my lovely scarf, looking anything but lovely right then.
It was soaked and I could feel it trembling with fear and cold. Car tires had whizzed by on either side the whole time we were at the movie. It was so lonely and scared and wet and miserable and dirty, I thought I heard it sigh with relief when I picked it up to carry it home — at arms length because it was dripping. I wondered if it could be salvaged at all.
Later, I’m sure it gurgled with pleasure when I dunked it into a sink full of warm, sudsy water. “Ahhhh!” Happily, it was not damaged in any way and fully recovered from the trauma.
Serendipity? Perhaps. I didn’t want to lose that scarf and I think it didn’t want to lose me. Sometimes things just aren’t ready to leave us and they insist on returning. Like that chicken did years ago in Los Angeles. But, that’s another story.
I wish you all a healthy and wonderful 2014. Thank you for reading my blog.