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Lost Earrings

I have an earring tree that has been sitting on the same dresser for more than a quarter-century.

While dusting off the old pine wood surface, the collection of earrings that have accumulated over the years caught my eye.

I know, the most surprising part of the story so far is that I was dusting.

Please know, gentle reader, that come hell or high water I do dust when the morning sunlight pours into a room and reflects the oversight of wood and dust commingling. This morning, the sunlight also caught silver memories hanging silently from the tree. As many of them were single earrings I wondered why I had kept them for so long.

Aaah yes, I remembered, I don't want to get rid of them in case their partner shows up unexpectedly between a cushion or under a bed.

What are the chances the partner earring will appear out of nowhere after it disappeared during the Bush-era?

I am not sure, but holding on to them adds value to the one remaining: the three-loop silver bob I got on my first trip to Mexico; the beaded, indigenous wonder gifted to me at Christmas; and the handcrafted star from the closed hippy store.

No longer jewelry, they are a living diary, a sacred relic. Knowing upon my death the single earrings will be discarded as worthless, I hold the rag-tag, displaced pieces as a beautiful community.

I love them because they hung around.

I love their silent history and that together they feel like they have transformed into ornaments on the only tree I decorate all throughout the year.

In the midst of a crazy, busy world that discards and destroys, today I want to stop and look at an old earring tree.

I want to remember, and give thanks, for all the people who didn't discard me when I was lost and a bit broken.

And to thank you, my friends, for all the times you have honored the lost and broken pieces and seen them as a beautiful community.

- Becca Stevens

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