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Essay: Lost Scarf

It wasn’t a fancy scarf, just a strip of red and blue plaid that I wrapped around my neck in the winter.  On really cold days, I pulled the edge up over my nose, enjoying the smell and warmth of wool.

The scarf was only special because I’d bought it in Scotland, the home of my ancestors.  You’d think I would have taken better care of it, but it was like a pair of gloves or glasses—so familiar that I hardly noticed it.  Until it was gone.

How could it be gone?  I retraced my steps to a dozen locations where various wait staff and bank tellers and check-out people showed me their lost and found boxes, sad collections of things that weren’t my scarf.

I blamed myself of course.  Scolded myself.  Somehow, this simple loss kindled all my feelings of unworthiness.  I was so careless and stupid, not paying attention.  No wonder I lost my scarf.  I didn’t deserve to keep it.  Didn’t deserve anything. 

And then, when winter was over, I was reaching into the bottom of my backpack and felt soft wool.  There it was, that beloved red and blue plaid scarf.

Which might mean that I deserved to find it.  To have it.