Yesterday morning, just before 11 am, I found myself racing through Reading Terminal Market, looking for the stairs that would take me up to the administrative offices. As I walked, I pulled my gloves off and folded my umbrella, trying to get myself presentable for the meeting I was about to have. The scarf came next, and as I unraveled it from my neck, I heard a clink that sounded something like a few beans being dropping into an empty jar. The sound registered in my head and I thought briefly about whether I could have pulled a necklace off with my scarf, before remembered that I wasn’t wearing a necklace.
I kept going and arrived at the meeting slightly breathless and two minutes late. As we sat down to talk, I shook my head gently to get my hair out of my face and realized that I only felt the jangling of earrings from one side of my head. Reaching up, I confirmed that I was only wearing one earring and that the other one must have been what I heard fall. I pulled the lone earring off as discreetly as I could while talking and tucked it into my bag. The meeting went really well (if it becomes what I hope it becomes, I will be telling you all more about it soon) and I was on my way.
As I headed back downstairs, I started to retrack my steps, hoping that maybe I would be able to find the errant earring. I was already starting to feel the pangs of loss that come when you no longer have something you like as I peered under tables and along the sides of stalls. It was a pair that my sister’s friend had made for her and I had coveted for a few years. During my last trip home I had finally managed to talk Raina into surrendering them to me (I was successful mostly because Raina recently stretched her ears to accomodate large hunks of wood and so can’t really wear regular earrings anymore) and I didn’t particularly want to tell her that I had lost one.
I had only been looking for about 90 seconds when I glanced around a plastic garbage can and spotted the earring, sitting there quietly as if it was waiting for me to come back for it. I reached down and snatched it up, celebrating internally that I had found it. A few people had been watching me as I looked under the tables and when I straightened up I made eye contact with one man who gave me a grin and a thumbs up sign.
Finding something you’ve lost in a public place is, at least in my book, one of the top five most satisfying things that can happen in life.