I once was lost…

My family had only lived on Castlefield Dr. in Hamilton for only a few months when I started Kindergarten. For the first few weeks, my Mom walked me, with my 4 year-old brother in tow, to school and back. It wasn’t far. Maybe 10 minutes, walking slow with my little kid-sized strides.  You followed our street around the bend, past Greenwood Ave. until you came to Fernwood Cres. All you had to do then was look left from my street and there, down two houses, was my school.

Well my Mom, while still trying to find my brother and I some child care, had to go back to work, and so my grandmother came to watch us. It was decided that I was old enough to be able to walk home after kindergarten by myself. Well on the first day, you can guess what happened.

img_1523I got lost.

On my way home, I made the first corner but then I turned in a corner early, onto Greenwood Ave. Half of the way down Greenwood, I realised that I was not sure where I was and I started to be afraid, and by the time I reached the end of the street, and I had not seen my house, I was afraid. A bit panicked, I turned left at the end of Greenwood and kept walking, which because of the street design actually brought me back to the corner where I could see my school and more importantly, my relieved looking grandmother walking my little brother. After she dried my tears and calmed me down, I remember the great relief and joy I felt as she walked us all home.

there are lots of different ways to get lost

All of us could probably share a story from our childhood of getting lost. The truth is being lost is such an awful feeling and experience, that it is hard to forget and it is something we will take great steps to never repeat. Yet, soon after childhood we learn that there are lots of different ways to get lost. Sure, we can still get lost physically, but we can also get lost mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. It happens, and often we don’t even notice we are lost right away, until something makes us lift our head up (or pull our head out of the sand) and look around. That “something” is an incident, and argument, or some event that makes us aware of our situation. Then, at that awful moment, we realise we are lost. In seconds we realize that we have lost something precious to us: a dream, a friendship, a loved one, the strength of our faith, our self esteem, our sense of peace or contentment, or simply our place in the world. The feeling comes over us unexpected and unaware because we were so busy getting lost we never saw it coming.

But it is when we know we are lost, that we are filled with desire to be found.