By Priyanka Hardikar
Photo Credit: BigStock
In one day, I lost two precious gifts I had been given from people I love dearly. To my astonishment, in the days that followed, both gifts found their way back to me. One was a green-blue scrunchie my brother had brought back from Cambodia, my favorite scrunchie that I always wore. I don’t know if it was the uniqueness of the shade, or the origin of the scrunchie â€“ the spirit of adventure it inspired â€“ but I loved how it felt and looked. Scrunchies can hurt, they can give headaches, but this one didn’t. It just made me feel pretty, at any time of the day.
That particular day, I remember my dad and I had gone on a walk and it was on our way back, two streets away from our home, I touched my hair and noticed the scrunchie wasn’t there anymore. I retraced my steps and went looking for it, but after a few streets, I accepted I probably wouldn’t find it.
Instead of turning back home after the disappointment, I took a route I’d never taken before, passing by houses I’d never seen. I passed by a house with beautiful pink roses, full bloom, and another with two elephant trunks intertwined on a bench, both expressions of love. I passed by a house of people speaking Marathi, my native language â€“ the familiarity in their voices and words connecting with a deeper part of me. I passed by a house with inspiring messages in chalk on their sidewalks. They said “You’ve got this,” “Keep Going,” “This will end” and “Keep your eye on the target,” in the colors of hope. They had drawn a picture of an Easter bunny and said thank you to workers for all they do. It was so unexpected and beautiful to me, especially during the pandemic, and I felt like I was meant to take this path, if only to have passed by this house I had never seen before.
I had not taken my phone and did not know where I was going. At a certain point, I was lost, just like my items. But something in me remained calm and collected, understanding that when we love something or someone â€“ it can never truly be lost.
“Nothing you love is lost. Not really. Things, people â€“ they always go away, sooner or later. You can’t hold them, any more than you can hold moonlight. But if they’ve touched you, if they’re inside you, then they’re still yours. The only things you ever really have are the ones you hold inside your heart.” â€“ Bruce Coville
Losing my way and losing these items felt more like a wake-up call than anything else â€“ a reminder that all of us are loved, and that love is forever. We don’t need a sign or a tangible possession to know.