Just as I was beginning to stop believing in serendipity, I found my boot.
I had been looking for it for weeks. It wasn't anywhere in my car, my parents' house, or my own house as far as I could tell...and the sight of a single shoe--particularly a nice one--is so much more annoying than losing a whole pair of shoes. The utter uselessness of the single shoe serves as a constant reminder of your thoughtlessness in losing its mate...and makes you want to kick yourself with your shoeless foot.
Yet there it sat innocently, underneath my suitcase, in the closet I had searched half-a-dozen times already, practically staring up at me as if to say "How stupid are you? I've been here the whole time."
But then I started to find other things. The special red water bottle I thought was gone forever appeared under the passenger seat of my car last week. A blue comb I thought I'd left in Yosemite two summers ago mysteriously showed up in a drawer yesterday, and this morning I found an important list that I'd made last year that I have been trying to find for months, innocently folded underneath my bed, as I searched for my ipod headphones.
None of these things were crucial--I surely could have survived without them. I could have gone out and bought new boots, a new water bottle, a new comb, tried my best to remember what was on the list--it would have been fine. But there seems to be a lesson of sorts in discovering that you've always had something you believed to be gone.
Of course, I know better than to overthink it. I know that if I start paying too much attention to "signs," and believe that every found item, song lyric, or instance of synchronicity is the universe attempting to relay a message of great magnitude to me, I will drive myself crazy and probably not be invited to any cocktail parties. Instead I will try to appreciate life's small gifts of shoes, combs, and wisdom, say a quiet thank you, and then move on with my day.
Hopefully I will have a serendipitous moment involving my headphones sometime soon, as they continue to be missing.