I lost a ring this summer while at my brother's. It was a silver ring - you know the kind - the ones that have the inside that spins. It was wide, plain, and I wore it on my thumb.
Thing is - due to my health I've been quite nauseous for months now. And with that comes loss of weight. And because of that my ring slipped off my finger.
The Man bought me this ring many years ago during a trip to Vancouver. I can even remember the little shop we were in and how I had admired so many kinds until deciding on this one. I wore it then as a thumb ring and never feared losing it.
We spent the better part of a day searching for that ring. Donning rubber gloves we tore apart 6 bags of garbage and rummaged through stuff you don't want to look at a second time. We even got out the metal detector that sits behind my brother's bedroom door and proceeded to search the compost pile. My brother shoved that metal detector deep into the compost only to have to clean it off again.
It never turned up.
It sounds like such a big issue and my heart and mind dwelled on it for days.
But then one morning I walked into the rafting center and found a small collection of people looking quite somber. A man I had met and who was a good acquaintance of my brother, had been killed in a farming accident. A bachelor with a passion for painting who was kind and gentle and soft spoken.
He and my brother belonged to the same artists group, and three of his paintings hung in the rafting center for sale as part of the annual Artwalk the group presented each summer. After the funeral I often looked closely at these paintings, wondering if I could see the artist behind them and feeling the huge loss and hole in the world this man left.
I've thought about these two things a lot. Losses come in so many different ways and can often invoke the same feelings. That hole in the world, that ache in the heart, that searching for the lost item over and over.
How many times have I thought I've seen someone I've lost in a crowd? How many times did I think I saw a glint of silver in the grass only to find it was a piece of garbage? Why do we keep looking when we know we will never find these things again? Why does the loss sit in our hearts and pulse with its own little ache that never goes away.
I've lost many things over the years. Not so much in a material way really but in a more valuable way. Friends, pets, family, acquaintances, my mind. And sometimes the loss is not always a death. Sometimes it comes in losing a friendship - a loss that is like a death in itself.
These thoughts haunt me. Looking out at the fallen leaves I think of the painter who lies beneath them now, never to paint their beauty again. Perhaps, if I still had that silver ring, I would place it on his grave so that the losses would be united.
Thoughts for contemplation this Fall morning.