Wilton Warrior Words: The land of the lost
Last January I made the trek to Winter Park, Fla., for a soccer tournament. After a few late hotel nights, cheesy tourist attractions, and blistering hot soccer games, I was finally on my homeward-bound flight with a new sunburn in possession and my luggage in tow. A nagging feeling that I was missing something finally resulted in the realization that I left my “beloved” copy of “Wuthering Heights” by the poolside. When I say my copy, I actually mean Mr. Walsh’s third-period AP Language copy, and when I say beloved, I actually mean deeply disliked. In fact, the novel’s untimely misplacement may have been a blessing in disguise (sorry, Mr.Walsh).
Nonetheless, I cannot help but wonder where that book is today. In the spirit of Mary Poppins’ song “The Place Where Lost Things Go,” I am constantly reminded that nothing is actually gone forever, instead merely out of place.
Where is that copy of “Wuthering Heights” right now? Somewhere out there, does another Florida high schooler cherish that same exact book that has my name scribbled on the inside cover? I would love to believe that the book is living out a second, third, and fourth life where it can experience different late-night essay writing, sticky notes or annotations in the margins, and perhaps even be lost and then found again.
The concept of missing things has always perplexed me; how can our belongings be there one day, and the next day, gone? Are my fourth grade cleats with sharpie-colored laces sitting on the shelf of a Goodwill, patiently waiting for the day they can shoot their next goal? Is my silver wave ring tumbling on the ocean floor somewhere off the coast of Cape Cod? I know for a fact that my backyard woods are scattered with footballs and soccer balls that, one day, were thrown too deeply into the mangled brush and have ever since remained in their home of leaves and sticks.
Sometimes we do not even realize when we have lost something, yet instead realize that one day it simply slipped out of our unsuspecting grasp and never returned. No matter where our lost belongings are, they are out there somewhere and living a new life of their own. In fact, some of my lost possessions have probably traveled farther than I ever have!
Every high schooler knows the fateful time when we prepare to buy our dance tickets. We approach the table in the cafeteria and run down the list of requirements. Money? Check. Dance waiver? Check. Missing school books? Check. Suddenly, kids are scrambling around the school trying to find their freshman year geometry textbook or the library book they used that one time because without them, you either miss the dance or face the wrath of your parents to pay for the rather-costly reimbursement fee. Where have those books gone? Did some other student that lost their book find another book and decide to use it as their surrogate, thus creating a book-stealing butterfly effect?
Perhaps I am a bit of a forgetful person, and lose things a bit too often. It would be too embarrassing to admit how many times I had to desperately track down my car keys in the halls of the high school last year. However, I would like to believe that every item I have lost has gotten the chance of infinite recycling, a constant chance to be appreciated and serve its purpose with its every new owner. And, somewhere out there, I would like to believe that my copy of “Wuthering Heights” is living its best life out in the sunshine by the pool in Winter Park, Fla.
Libby Connolly is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with three classmates.