I did not search without a plan. First I did a mental assessment of my activity while doing my first circuit. For 3/4 of the route I merely placed one foot in front of the other, likely hugging the inside of the trail to minimize the distance. It was at the 3/4 mark that I met up with a friend. At that time I yanked my buds out of my ears so that I could talk and listen freely. Then, realizing I was now late for my SKYPE call with my Finnish Exchange lad, I began to jog for some of the remaining distance. I reasoned, therefore, I should reverse my walk.
I felt confident it was a good plan. As I was just starting out a neighbor was just finishing her walk. After exchanging pleasantries, I told her of my quest. She was totally sympathetic. She too had lost an earring while walking the Lake over 1 1/2 years ago. As she told me her story, I could see her become visibly upset. She said she lost it in the snow, but hasn't given up. She is still looking. Right then I had an image of myself wandering the moors, desperately seeking that which I had lost. Heathcliff??
Back to reality. As I walked the trail backwards, I kept an eye on the sidewalk and the inside edge of the trail. Having no luck, I thought perhaps I needed to think like an earring. Where would I fall? Then I remembered an earring can't think. Okay, think like someone who might have found my earring. Where would she put it? (Note, I think a he would have just left it where it landed.) I began to look on the benches and tops of ledges and posts along the trail. I even looked inside a garbage can. Only once though. If my earring was residing with the day's collection of dog poop, it would have to stay there.
A related side story. Hubby and I once found a pair of eyeglasses in its case on the sidewalk while walking the lake. We debated what to do. They seemed like a decent pair of glasses so we decided to take them home. No, not to keep! We quickly prepared some lovely flyers telling the owner where she could find her glasses and posted them all around the area where they were found. Hubby thought we should post on Craig's List, but I thought that was an overkill. For sure someone would see the signs and call. But no one called. Perhaps we should have let the glasses stay where we found them.
Back to the earring search. Well, let me end the suspense. I did not find the earring. This greatly saddened me. They were new. Worn only once. Not expensive but still, they were new. Worn only once. Did I say that already? I was also angry with myself. In my earring holder I have two little bags full of earring backs for just this problem. You see this is not the first earring I have ever lost. It is not the first time I have failed to put a back on the earring.
So, why am I posting such a mundane little story? Because I have this box. And in this box I have about ten earrings, maybe more, none with a match. Some of these earrings are twenty years old. Yet, I hang on to them. There must be some deep meaning to this. Trying to avoid blame? Inability to face reality? Looking for an excuse to put another hole in my ear?
Like my neighbor, I can't let go. If I do ever find a match, it will be like the prodigal earring. Returned to me. More appreciated than the one that never left.
My inability to let go is worrisome though. You see my daughter will be leaving for college next year and I don't have a match. She's the only one in the box.