Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Christmas Sock Mystery.

Today, as my husband and I were getting ready for the day, I walked back into the closet and there on the floor was a sock I’d lost years ago. It was lying just inside the closet door on the floor. Odd. Because I’d just been in the closet dressing and it wasn’t there. My husband had dressed in there, too and it wasn’t there. But just as we were both ready to leave and I’d gone into the closet one last time, there it was on the floor.

“What the heck?” I said to my husband. “Did you see that?” He came over and looked down, then shook his head. “Nope.” He hadn’t seen it in there until I pointed it out to him. “Where did that come from, I lost it years ago.”
I looked up toward the ceiling, the top shelf, the rest of the shelves, then down to the sock on the floor. Nothing was out of place, nothing else had moved from the shelves. A few months back, I’d cleaned and organized closet shelves. I didn’t find any stray socks, then.

This sock isn’t just an ordinary sock, it’s special. It’s a Christmas sock. Not a stocking, a sock. I remember vividly when I bought them. It was about 4 years ago on Christmas Eve. We had little family tradition that on Christmas Eve, we would spend the afternoon downtown, seeing the big Christmas tree all lit up, drinking a special eggnog latte, going around to the downtown shops taking in the window displays and maybe buying a few small last minute gifts.

One year, to the delight of my, then, small children, I bought a package of Christmas crackers for them to pop at Christmas Day dinner. This particular year, I was looking for a few pairs of bright, warm socks to put into my daughter’s stocking. I lucked out and found these wonderful red and black wool socks at The Gap. They were on sale, so I bought a few pairs for both of us. We both loved them and wore them a lot. So, I went back the next year to buy more socks for our stockings only to find out they didn’t sell them anymore. We were both disappointed.

But my daughter and I still had a pair or two from the last year. And then, I lost the mate to this red, black and white snowflake pair. I remember, because I loved the socks so much that I put the one sock on my closet shelf hoping that I’d find the mate someday soon. Years went by and I never found it. So finally, last year, I got rid of the single sock.

Now, this year, its mate showed up on my closet floor. There it was, lying by the doorway on December 21st, just 3 days before Christmas Eve. I’d already gotten my daughter and I a pair of new socks for our stockings. I wasn’t planning on a trip downtown this year. Our children were grown up now and they grew out of our Christmas Eve field trip tradition quite a few years ago. I’d also finished all my Christmas shopping.

Why now? Why did I find the Christmas sock on my closet floor? When I’d lost it years ago?

I must admit, I called out loud to the spirits of the house, “Ok, having a little fun with me? Am I going to find the other one, now?” Or, I asked myself quietly later, is it a message? Or just a way to remind me of our old tradition of Christmas Eve shopping? Or is it just the way life is…the minute you think something you love is lost, you find it. And in the most unexpected places?

As I write this, I sit looking at this old, red and black wool sock and I see it in a new light. It is a Christmas sock. And it’s empty. Perhaps, it’s here waiting, like we all are, to be filled on Christmas Day with joy. I know one thing for sure, I still love that old wool sock, red and black with its white snowflake, still warm and cozy after all these years.

Maybe the biggest lesson is the most obvious:
Whatever is lost, can be found. Again.

But maybe the key to finding it is in being able to finally let it go.

This Christmas may you and yours find all the mystery and magic of the season to enjoy.


Patrick Gracewood said...

What a wonderful Christmas mystery!
I love it when things turn up, and it drives me crazy when the tool I had a minute ago suddenly vaporized.
Not to be found for days... or years....

Susan Gallacher-Turner and Michael Turner said...

I know...the real question is...where do they really go?