Monday, September 24, 2007
Today's is Elizabeth Perry's 1000th consequtive posting of sketches and musings over at Woolgathering and as part of her online celebration, I am posting my own sketch.
I lost my wedding band this spring. I was out in the garden, preparing urns for a new batch of annuals to be nestled in with the evergreen ivy. It wasn't until hours later - washing my hands - that I realized it was gone.
"Where were you?" he asked, when I came back in an hour later, still crying, still without it (meaning 'where had I been where I could have lost it'). I shrugged, helplessly. I'd been everywhere. We looked everywhere. We dug up everything I'd planted. We sieved the dirt. Over the next week we bought and read the manual for a metal detector and struggled manfully with said detector. We dug up the plants again. I cried some more.
I wrote about it; dreamed about it; prayed about it; pondered the why's and wherefore's of it. Not to mention the where-the-hell-is-it?!!'s. I couldn't find it and it didn't turn up. We still look for it, walking in the garden. My empty left ring finger was a mute accusation of my carelessness. How could I not have felt it slip off?! Strangely, I felt like I had failed as a wife. This was the symbol of our marriage - our treasure - and I had proven untrustworthy in guarding it. I lost it! Way to go. . . .
No, I didn't tell the king that. But neither did I press to get another one made. I started feeling unreliable with respect to my engagement ring and rarely put that on. . . . Fine. I didn't wear rings before I got married - just a few years ago - so what's the big deal? I won't wear rings now. Clearly, I'm not to be trusted with them.
Still, when I least expected it, a wave of loss would wash over me and I would finger my married ring finger, feeling the missing ring like I hear people who've lost limbs still feel them. How silly to feel such desolation over a ring. A piece of metal. OK - platinum metal, and have you checked the prices on platinum lately?! But still. I just missed my ring.
Last week, in the middle of dissertation hell, the king and I went out onto the porch for a happy hour glass of wine before dinner. The squirrels have been at work in my garden and urns, busily burying and unburying nuts and such. I scolded one of them who came within earshot: "I better not catch you in my urns! I'll whup your butt!" The king and I laughed. "Unless, of course, you find and return my ring," I added. "Then you can dig in the urns all you want!"
"You really think you're going to get it back, don't you?" the king asked.
"Well, I hope I will." I said. "I'd kind of lost hope there, for a while, but now I find myself looking again, quite expectantly. Almost as if it will be brought to me and left on the front steps. . . . But I haven't found it yet." I smiled. So did he. He went inside a moment and came back out.
"I didn't know when to give this to you." he said. "Now seems the best time." He placed a little box on the concrete bench we use as our coffee table on the porch. I started crying. (and I've started crying again, thinking about it. . . .)
I can't believe he had another ring made for me. Just like the first one. The one that's lost in our garden. The one that matches his.
This one is just a little different, though - I can't quite put my finger on it. But it's growing on me. Like a second chance.