You would think that after 50 years married to my wonderful wife, my dearest treasure, my life-long traveling companion, I would have learned by now how to find things when I’ve lost them.
“Where was the last place you used them?” is what she would say.
She reminds me still, even though not five months ago I lost her to cancer.
And now I had lost my keys.
On that ring were keys that unlocked all doors behind which were possessions that had value.
Vehicle keys, house keys, keys that opened doors where there were other keys to unlock yet other doors.
But all the keys were gone.
And now I could hear her say, again, “Where was the last place you used them?”
But a question like that requires thinking and I’d rather just be looking.
Did I toss them on the table? No.
Bathroom counter? No.
Fall out of my pocket in the closet? No. Besides, I would have heard that. There were a lot of keys on that ring.
Finally, having exhausted all other possibilities, I had to do what my wife would have advised in the first place: “think.”
Even though I was too tired to think, it being well past my bedtime.
So, it came about that having searched all places where keys are most likely to go when they somehow escape, but having had no success, I stopped my frantic tossing things about, and sat, and thought.
It was then that I remembered having driven to our flower garden spot where all things beautiful grow. Down by the lake. Where the eagles soar. Where the quiet of the evening, the peaceful slipping of the sun over the horizon, the cooling breeze off the water all combine to a reluctance to go home.
I wearily grabbed my second set of vehicle keys which I always carry with me in case I forget where my other keys are – like sometimes locked inside the vehicle – and drove back in the late hour to where I had last been and as I drove into the space, there on the ground, in plain view to anyone else, their copper and silver sides reflecting the headlights:
Where she said they would be.
If I would just stop and think about the last place I had been.
And now, in the quiet of this early morning, I’m thinking about one of the last places we were, where I heard her voice, felt her touch, enjoyed her conversation, or just sat saying nothing at all.
It’s the same place where I lost my keys.
And found them.
Among the flowers is where I’ll find her again.