My idea was to mow the lawn.
First, however, fallen branches
had to be cleared.
Turned out that was a much bigger
job than first I imagined.
More than one storm
had brought down branches.
So an hour later, still at it,
while bending over to pick up one limb, my iPhone popped out of my pocket. Said I to myself, you didn’t even realize you had it in your pocket, did you?
That’s how you lost it the last time.
But did I walk back to the house
immediately and shed myself of the iPhone?
My argumentative self convinced me
that I was almost done with the job.
And now I was paying attention.
I’d be careful.
I was careful.
Then, soon the job was done.
So I slapped my hand
against my breast pocket
to confirm the phone was still there.
But it had to be.
I had been careful.
If it had slipped out,
surely I would have noticed.
I touched my shirt pocket again.
Not oddly, the phone was still
Fortunately, I knew exactly the path I had taken, back and forth and back and forth.
They were the only steps I had taken
in close to an hour.
And my track was the neither far nor wide.
A quick look is all it would take.
In a moment I’d see it.
A quick look
did not recover
Nonetheless, it had to be there.
I searched again
I searched several times.
Then several more times.
No need to panic, though.
And once I had found it, thought I,
I might even write
a long narrative
of my successful quest.
But even with that silly encouragement, I did not, could not find the phone.
In my search, I moved the entire pile
of the limbs and brush to a new spot.
(I had examined the new spot carefully first for a missing phone.
It was not there.)
I retraced my steps along the path
several more times.
since I picked up more limbs,
twigs, and leaf mold along the way
and put them in the pile
in its new location.
It wasn’t likely
those limbs and twigs would be hiding the lost object and they were not.
Then I retraced my steps while pulling up tall grass and weeds.
The phone refused to be found.
All my initial eager encouragement
went into a tailspin.
But I did not lose hope.
I wasn’t done yet.
Doesn’t everyone praise perseverance?
I now decided a new strategy was necessary.
Hey, we now had fiber optics.
Installed that very morning.
I could test the claimed enhanced range of our WiFi.
I would locate the phone.
I borrowed Margaret’s iPhone,
but didn’t call yet.
I waited until I stood over a likely spot in the grass.
Quite a distance from the house,
there was still one bar on the WiFi icon.
This is a stronger signal indeed,
than the phone
had shown before
when this far outside the house.
After a long frustrating many seconds, I got a message.
My call had failed.
But the enhanced signal!
I tried again.
Walking back to the house
I reminded myself about
I asked Margaret to call my phone
from inside the house.
This time it would work.
It had to.
But, Margaret, please wait.
I wanted to be in place
before she made the call.
Back where I knew
the phone just had to be,
I hollered to Margaret
on the other side of
an open window
(not many steps at all),
there it was
in plain site
about three feet away
from where I had searched
Many multiple times.
I had my iPhone.
Not just in finding the phone,
but in not having to replace
all and everything
that was stored inside.
Kitten’s lapping tongues
and puppy dog tails
Perhaps now you feel rather exhausted
just from hearing my tale.
Maybe that little weariness can provide you a bit of insight to my feeling of frustration and exhaustion and frantic anxious emotion, but finally almost elation.
There’s an emotion
that I think we must all feel
when frantically searching
for something lost
that can’t be produced in retrospect
once the treasure’s been found.
I did not mow the lawn that day.