In the wild woods of a sunny snow covered day in New Hampshire, I stopped in the tracks of my cross country skis and listened, to nothing. It was the most peaceful sound I've ever heard. The occasional jay squawked and unidentified mammals scurried along fallen branches, but I was completely alone with my silence and myself.
Then my husband and my friend, J, moseyed along in their snow shoes. Frequently, I'd ski on ahead a quarter of a mile or so just so that I could enjoy the silence again. And although cross country is leisurely and slow compared to downhill, I encountered my share of steep inclines on which I had to penguin skate in order to climb and hills of some merit which sent me sailing down them at a bunny-hill alpine pace.
After several miles, I had tired and found that I wasn't concentrating on the skiing and following a few close calls, I wiped out at the end of a long descent. No problem, no pain, I just got up again, laughed and continued.
Later in the condo, after peeling the layers of outer and inner wear off of my body, I looked in the mirror only to notice, much to my dismay, that one of my favorite earrings was missing. I cursed and informed my husband that I was going to the Nordic Center to see if anyone had turned it in. Here's where the saying "a snowball's chance in hell" fits like a woolly ski mitten. At the Nordic center, a very accommodating man named Steve apologized as he looked in the lost and found bucket and said, "you can leave your name and address if you want in the slight chance that someone hands it in." I thought, "what the hell" and wrote down the information on a post-it note.
I suffered my 5 minutes of disappointment (it was my favorite pair of earrings) and forgot about it. Later on in New Jersey, with the lone remaining earring in my make-up bag and a chance to go shopping with J, I decided to get some new earrings to replace them. In New Hampshire I joked that there is a bull-moose out there somewhere in the woods sporting a silver and red earring on his antler or a cow-moose sauntering around with one earring (left or right?, I don't know). My friend J said that maybe some fat guy found it and was wearing it as a belly gem, hubby said something about a Prince Albert. ;)
I returned with not one, but three pair of new earrings (I was in American shopping mode) and happily stuck a beautiful new pair of turquoise earrings through my lobes. We returned to J's apartment and he went to retrieve his mail. As he entered the apartment he laughed and said, "I think you're going to be very surprised with something you've received in the mail!" He handed me an envelope with the return address of "Waterville Valley Resorts, NH" and smiled. You can imagine the rest, but I'll tell you anyway.
Inside was a handwritten note from Steve at the Nordic Center saying, "Dear Sandy, today must be your lucky day. The day after you came in, someone turned in your earring after having found it on the trail. Cheers, Steve" I was elated. Not because I had my earring back (I have 3 new pairs remember?) but because someone took the time to pick up the earring, think, "I bet someone is bummed that they lost this" turned it in to the Nordic Center and then Steve, as promised, mailed it out to me. I was so touched to think that there are still good people out there who think of others and not just themselves. For another few minutes, I was able to smile and restore my often-shattered faith in humanity.