This morning I found a hat with sentimental value that had been lost for over a year. I had been in my coat closet getting a hat to wear on a walk. I thought of the butterfly cap and another cap we lost around the same time. I actually said aloud, “Those hats are really, really gone.” And then, there, in a spot where I’m sure I’ve looked for it many times, was something that looked like the butterfly cap. And it was. After all that time and all that looking, it was in my hand.
I thought maybe the other missing cap would be underneath it, but, no, there were some caps there we’ve worn in recent months.
The returned butterfly cap seemed like a gift.
Tears came. I think for many reasons. That hat was my grandfather’s. I wore it sometimes when I visited him, and then it became mine. It says “The American Museum of Natural History” on the back, which underscores its connection to his New York City home. It is connected to my interest in butterflies and all the people who have remembered my interest by sharing butterfly stories, words, and objects with me. And it is connected to my grandfather’s friend, Charles, who shared my love of butterflies and even my interest in words for butterflies in different languages, and who once made a butterfly garden in Central Park. And now, in the last month, I have made a butterfly garden in my front yard. What timing.
Also, I cried because of the lovely truth that sometimes things that are lost get found.