It hasn’t been this cold here for a long time. Single digits, and I can’t find my hat. It’s time to leave for work. I open the closet and search frantically in the years of sediment of wool and cotton on the shelf above the hangers. No hat.
Desperate, I dig on and, underneath it all, I at last find an old, plastic, department store bag, crushed, as if vaccuum wrapped, cinched tight and pressed back against the wall.
I open it and at first its contents seem like only more of the same. Scarves, gloves, no hat for me. Then something else falls from the bag. Another bag, this one clear, and inside it a child’s ski mask. I look again at the gloves on the counter and see how small they are. Then I feel the pang. This is a time capsule. One day, twenty years or so ago, at the end of an afternoon’s sledding or skiing, these things were carefully put away for the next time. And the next time never came. I think of the laughter, the endearing runny noses, the bouncing excitement over the sense of then overwhelming thrills and adventures that awaited on the hill up the street.
Here it is: the real evidence of who we once were; proof that life was once so full, was once that good.