Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Someone's hand is going to freeze

Lost in the ice
London, ON
January 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
On an ice-covered sidewalk at a busy downtown London intersection, a single blue wool glove lies forlornly, its twisted fabric flapping in the biting wind. As I walk past and my conscience pings at me, I wonder who lost it, and whether they've realized it by now.

It's an unfortunate fact of Canadian life: Our winters are generally cold and unpredictable, so we load up on woolies - hats, gloves or mitts (argue amongst yourselves, please), scarves, neck warmers, earmuffs and the like - and hope they make it through the winter.

Because we're too cool in adulthood to tie everything together with strings and loop it all through our coat sleeves, inevitably we'll lose at least something before the snow finally melts.

Because we're Canadian, we always have backups upon backups, extra pairs of gloves stashed in our closets, backpacks, or, rather poignantly, glove compartments. So it isn't like we'll freeze to death if one of our gloves ends up under a delivery truck's tire in the grocery store parking lot. But there's a hierarchy of sorts when it comes to winter woolies. Some of them are treasured keepsakes, gifts from friends that make us smile every time we put them on. While others aren't quite as special.

My wife says putting on a colorful scarf received as a gift from an especially close friend feels like a hug. Losing a woolie from the top of the sentimental pile is always tough to accept. The cheap replacement you snagged from the bottom of the leftover box in the deepest corners of the utility closet may keep the chill at bay, but it won't feel quite like a hug.

This glove looks like someone cared, and I'm guessing it'll be missed. I hope whoever lost it finds a way to replace it with one that's just as special.

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