Keys to happiness

See these? 2013-04-06 15.30.40

These — these — are my long-lost car keys. (Or, more precisely, car key, singular.)

I’ve been scanning the driveway and our neighbours’ yard for a couple of weeks now as the snow has receded, hoping for a glint of silver, not getting it. And then, yesterday — the very day that I finally said out loud, to Rachel, “I think I’m going to have to just suck it up and go order new keys” — Isaac plucked them from the newly exposed grass next door: a little rusty, slightly faded, but whole and working. I picked up that boy and literally whirled him around in excitement, and then handed him the mini chocolate hazelnut bar I just happened to have conveniently stashed in my pocket for precisely this kind of occasion. Who knew?

I thought that they’d been gone since November, and now I realize that it had been only since February — February 17, to be exact. Obviously, it seemed like longer — and the niggling of the not knowing, the logic that they had to be close by and yet invisible bothered me daily for the past couple of months. (Reading The Lovely Bones, imagining what it must be like to lose a child — clues glinting, unseen, just below the surface of vision, didn’t help.) It felt symbolic, all this losing and niggling and searching for what has to be there but not knowing how to get it: a metaphor for this past winter, which has felt more difficult than other winters.

And the finding feels symbolic too. “Like Aslan has returned to Narnia!” I crowed in a Facebook status update, but it’s true: the snow is melting, in fits and starts. I had, I have, what I needed there, all along. It may be rusty and faded, but it’s whole and it still works.

I’ve stopped dying my hair. I found my car keys. Things just get more and more exciting around here.