Story time! I shared this shortly after it happened on my alter ego Facebook account and decided it deserved a blog entry. Especially since I kicked the broom closet door down last week. Sorry. Still haven’t cleaned that up, but on to this week!
If you know me in person, you might have noticed the necklace I wear all the time.
The pendant on the left is a triquetra. The one on the right, I’ve been told, is called a witches knot but a friend said it’s a cousin to the Celtic cross. I don’t know. All I know is that I’ve liked the symbol for a long time and I randomly started drawing it in middle school. It just kind of stuck with me and the triquetra’s meaning goes deeper. I got them both at my first Renaissance festival my freshman year of college, back when I was really beginning to question things. I used to just wear one or the other, since I did buy them separately they came on separate chains. At some point, I began wearing them together and eventually put them on the short silver chain.
I’ve written a blog in the past about symbols, which you can find here: http://carolinakel.blogspot.com/2012/03/from-cross-to-key.html I’m not going to go into it too much except to say that these two pieces of pewter/silver/whatever they’re made of, mean a lot to me. Not just the symbols themselves, but the physical pendants. And I almost lost them at a really bad time.
Nothing makes you pray like a friend unexpectedly going to the hospital and being told he would have died if he hadn’t been brought in. That was on the heels of a string of concert, midnight movie premiere, and graduation. It was a crazy week. It was Sunday before I finally found myself on the road towards home with Bear, a friend of mine following closely behind through the rainy night. We stopped at a rest stop, barely an hour or so down the mountain, a good two hours from home still. I had on my favorite hoodie and my pendants were on the longer black chain. I’d swapped out the short silver chain for graduation, so they would be out of sight and I could wear another necklace with it. I did that for my grandfather’s funeral as well. It was one of the few times I had them on the longer chain.
Sometimes December in the Carolinas doesn’t behave. It wasn’t terribly cold and at that rest stop, I took my hoodie off. It was forty minutes later, driving down the road, that I realized my pedants were gone. I just randomly reached for them and felt nothing. We pulled over at the next rest stop and I frantically searched my backseat, thinking the chain had gotten caught in my hoodie. They were nowhere to be found.
It was already dark, nearing on seven or eight o’clock. I was coming home later than I had planned and I had a friend following me. It would have been easier to just let it go and get another set. My heart was pounding and a sense of dread had settled over me. I’m sure it was a feeling similar to what I’d experience if I lost my engagement ring, but I thought about letting it go. We were almost an hour away from where I might have lost them. There was no guarantee they were there or that even if they were, that someone hadn’t picked them up. And then Bear talked me into backtracking. He didn’t have to say much, but more than anyone else probably would have, he understood what those small objects meant to me.
We sent my friend ahead, sure she could find her way home from there, and added an extra hour and a half, at the least, to our trip to go back to that rest stop. There were puddles in the parking lot as we pulled in, different cars parked. Bear got out with me and we both searched the ground, cell phones lit up in the night. I was the one to find them, yanking them off the ground, the wet black chain a welcome feel in my hand. Clutching them to my chest like my most prized possession in the world, I remember thanking the Goddess that I hadn’t lost them.
On the way home, I stuck them on my rearview mirror for safekeeping. I wonder if Bear counted how many times I squeezed them in my fist, so thankful I’d found them, so thankful that he had talked me into turning around. I didn’t get home until after eleven o’clock, and then stayed up most the night putting away my things, too wired after a crazy weekend.
Why does this story matter? Why do I tell it? Because it’s true what they say that you don’t know what you have until you lose it. The same goes for people and things. Sometimes you need the little things to tell you everything is going to be alright. After being told my friend had been on death’s doorstep, finding those pendants in a puddle at some random rest stop at night was like light breaking through the clouds. And now, I have them both still in my life.