Lost and Found

Yesterday I found myself in a blinding snowstorm at the Barre courthouse, asking for copies of papers I had lost.

The woman behind the counter asked with disbelief, You lost them? I answered her, Yes, thinking, Lady, if you knew my carelessness…

Those papers have joined the trail of lost keys, cats, single earrings, half pairs of socks, a useful serving spoon, my original marriage license.

The woman disappeared into the building’s depths while I waited in the hall. Then, by chance, I met a friend I hadn’t seen since my early twenties, long ago. In those moments, I had that odd sense of finding my youthful self, as we traded stories about where we are now, in what I hope is merely the middle of long lives.

The woman returned with my papers, my friend headed upstairs, and I went back out into the snowstorm.

…we will lose everything we love in the end. But why should that matter so much? By definition, we do not live in the end: we live all along the way. The smitten lovers who marvel every day at the miracle of having met each other are right; it is finding that is astonishing. You meet a stranger passing through your town and know within days you will marry her. You lose your job at fifty-five and shock yourself by finding a new calling ten years later. You have a thought and find the words. You face a crisis and find your courage.

Kathryn Schulz, “When Things Go Missing”

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By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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