Two miles north of home, I spot him: T‑Rex.
He’s white-dirty, covered in grass clippings as if tossed, an afterthought, behind Mower Man.
Is little Dino lost, or now Found-but-Forgotten?
I snap a quick picture.
My feet return to hustle-heart speed.
Amid my heels pounding on the sidewalk, my imagination takes off. I envision a little boy scampering from here to the Next Best Thing.
Maybe he imagined treasure awaiting beyond the approaching hill? My feet speed to a near run.
A quarter-mile down the sidewalk, I crest the rise and jerk to a stop. There lies a brand new, multi-colored T‑Rex, still skirted in cellophane. A girl?
Is this Lost-but-Found, V.2.0?
Picture time repeats.
This time, I imagine a little girl who simply does.not.like old dead animals.
Why do I envision Red Rex as a girl’s toy but Dirty T‑Rex belongs to a boy?
And so the flood of questions begins.
Familiar queries rise up from ancient muscle memory: who, what, when, where, how and why here? On a quarter mile strip of sidewalk out in Nowheresville?
Ex-reporter now daily writer conjures a million stories out of 100 answers that follow. Stories emerge from little boys and girls with old toys who become adults with nightmares. Colors pop, fade, burst. Boredom expands to the unmanageable before eventually, all is forgotten and everything dissolves into none of the above.
Minus the questions, all I really know is that here on a narrow sidewalk, Forgotten became Found, squared, and Lost never existed. Maybe.
I learn that discovery is what matters with its offer of hope and meaning. Maybe what’s left behind is a gift that invites us to make stories of every find we make.
On this Monday, such are the weird wonderings of a walking writer who, as soon as she returns home, writes it all down.
What do you do with what you find?