A Most Remarkable Small Thing

Last Friday was a work-at-home day, what with all the recent storms and schedule adjustments. It afforded a huge chance to catch up on the home front: power enabled the laundry, vacuum, drying, baking, email and a host of other operations to take place. Manual tasks also brought some cleanliness and order: scrub a few walls here, fold a load or two there and, relevant to this post, take some deep hand sweeps under the kitchen’s radiant heating vents down low behind the dog’s dish and what we call the Boot Box.

“But I must go further back,” states a quotable line from a favorite film. And I must, for another part of this story involves clearing out my earring mismatches two weeks ago and the dresser on which they sat. Many years ago one of the kids gave me a hand-painted, hinged box for small things, and for decades it has lain flat open to catch my earrings or other randomly found but potentially precious objects. That day, besides earrings, it held buttons for the comforter, odd screws, and the Jasmine doll’s curly white slipper. I’m pretty sure that slipper has inspired a blog post or poem along the way.

Still, I mowed through the drawers and this box, gathering the flotsam. I paused at the slipper as I must have done before. After all, somewhere in the attic was Jasmine herself, and I’d kept this shoe in this spot for at least 10 or 15 years. But no, I took it out: it was time.

Fast forward to the detritus behind the dog dish, and yes, you could write the story from here. One sweep of the hand revealed, of course, the other Jasmine slipper. After all these years, had it really been right there, all the time? Of course it had…and perhaps, upon reflection, since 2003!

My mind raced back two weeks to the moment I held the first slipper in my hand. Had I discarded it, finally giving up the hope that had kept it in my little box for years?

I had a sense that I hadn’t really parted with it despite its disappearance from the open little box. Mothering four children has left retentive roots on small things (and lots of artwork.) I went back to the earring box and it wasn’t there. But…had I dropped it with other sifted treasures into the attic Lego bin? It seemed I could see that in my mind’s eye.

So I sprang up to the attic bin and pushed my hand down where my muscle memory led me: on the right side and down in front. There was the other slipper. I hadn’t thrown it away, and now…I had a matched set!

On this Monday morning, a seemingly long way from Friday’s find, I lean into the train window. My car is full already here at the fifth stop in light of another impending storm. This page seems to have many words about a very, very small thing. But I’m still going to post it. Perhaps keeping hope alive is an important thought today, and if hearing about small plastic slippers kept and found  points to patient hope, perhaps that’s a good thing to take with us into the day ahead.

Now I just have to find Jasmine.


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