Something You Lost

I am wandering along the path,

Neat and tidy picnic basket swinging in my hands,

Filled with good and comforting nourishment,

When I see Something very Beautiful in the distance.

I don’t know what it is,

But it seems like something that is wanting to be discovered.

It is far off the trail, and I can tell that I will need both hands to pull myself through the thick and vine-y growth,

So I set my lovely basket down

With only minor hesitation.

“I’ll be back soon,” I tell myself and mybasket as I take

My first steps towards the Beautiful Something.

I work and work,

And I see a lot of things that I like along the way.

Beautiful little things filled with the spirit of goodness and truth-

Flowers and ferns and vines and earthworms and dirt.

I linger over them

And hold them within mysoul lovingly.

I move forward,

But the Beautiful Something doesn’t seem to be something that you can

Arrive

At,

No matter how long and hard you work.  

With hunger pangs growling inside me,

It seems that the best option is to go

Back to the trail,

To my picnic basket.

Back I go,

Back past the little lovely things,

Loving them all over again.

I burst from the wild back onto the trail,

Panting and hungry,

And announce,

“I said I’d be back,

And I’m back!”

But-

But-

My basket!

Gone!

What

Now?

The thought of leaving the trail again is overwhelming,

So I begin to trudge along the smooth path.

The dance is gone from my steps,

And I have nothing to swing cheerfully in my hands.

It is,

Indeed,

Quite

Uncomfortable.

Especially when other people pass me

With their baskets.

Some of them offer to share food when they see my empty hands,

And then I swallow my pride and the delicious bits and pieces that they share.

It helps-

their offerings help me to keep going,

But it’s hard to not have anything to offer them in return.

I’m not even sure

If I’m supposed to be on this path,

Or if I should have continued my pursuit of the Beautiful Something.

I don’t feel like I belong here anymore,

But I suspect that this path

Has its own beautiful something.

I sense it in the eyes of the other travelers, and

It’s written in the purposeful footprints they leave behind them,

But I just

Can’t

See

It

For myself.

One day someone offers

A different sort of gift.

They slip a soft and comforting hand into mine,

And say,

“I lost mybasket too.

Let’s walk together.”

So we do.

Sometimes we walk on the trail, but

Not always.

Sometimes we catch sight of the Beautiful Something

And can’t resist heading into the wild towards it.

We find little berries to eat on the way,

And they are so delicious that I want to commit to the wild

For

Forever.

I tuck some of the berries kindly into my pocket for later.

The path calls too, though,

And I’m not sure which to choose.

There are two Beautiful Somethings.

Or maybe it’s the same Beautiful Something,

Just not all located in one precise spot,

Like I always expected.

It is comforting,

And frustrating.

Some days I miss my picnic basket-

With its red and white checked blanket and its thermos of lemonade and its chicken salad sandwiches.

When we are on the path,

People take note of our dirty feet, our hungry eyes,

And they share with us over and over again.

It seems that they feel sorry for us,

But we are quite giddy on our adventure.

And now, I have something to share in return.

I reach into my pocket and pull out the berries and say,

“Here. These are delicious. Have some!”

With those words,

The wild and the path criss-cross,

And the Beautiful Something isn’t far off.

We have been brought near to it.

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