20: Lost and Found

20: Lost and Found

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

Lost and Found

Happiness is a simple game of lost and found: Lose the things you take for granted, and you will feel great happiness once they are found.

~Richelle E. Goodrich, Making Wishes

I was terrified that my mom would find out that I had lost the beautiful silver flute she bought me. She had given me a big lecture about how valuable it was, and that I had to take good care of it. Now it was missing! I was only ten at the time, so it felt like a huge responsibility.

Mom was a soft-spoken woman who never yelled at me, but she would surely have docked my allowance for a year or two in order to pay for it if I couldn’t find it. The worst punishment, though, would have been disappointing her and being forever regarded as an unreliable person.

As I was in the band, I would take the flute to school and bring it home in the evening twice a week. During the day when I wasn’t at band practice, I would leave it in the cloakroom behind my homeroom, always in the same place. This was safe enough during school hours, but it wasn’t intended as a place to leave anything overnight.

I normally remembered to collect it after school, but inevitably the day came when I forgot. Mom didn’t notice that I didn’t bring it home that day, and I didn’t remember it until after dinner, when it was too late to go back to school. I knew I’d be in big trouble if I lost it, so the next day I went to school early to get it from the cloakroom — but it was gone!

Being afraid to tell anyone, I looked all over on my own, but it was nowhere to be found. I could hardly focus all day, and I was practically in a state of panic by the time I got home. Luckily, Mom still didn’t notice either my mental state or the fact that I didn’t have my flute, even though I was supposed to practice at home every day.

My prayers before bed naturally included a fervent wish to find the flute. Somehow, I fell asleep in spite of my anxiety . . . and then I dreamed a most amazing dream about my flute, quite unlike any other dream I had ever had.

In the dream, I saw the janitor take my flute from where I had left it and place it on the top shelf behind a pile of books, way out of my reach. He carefully put some extra books in front of it so it couldn’t be seen even by a very tall person, which I certainly wasn’t. It was obvious that he had hidden it deliberately, maybe to keep it safe for whoever had lost it. The dream was incredibly clear. I had a deep feeling that it was a true vision of what happened and could hardly wait until morning so I could go and see.

In the morning, I raced to school as early as possible. I got a chair and climbed up to the top shelf. My flute was exactly where I had seen the janitor put it! I was saved! I laughed and cried and collapsed in a heap; I was so relieved. My feelings of gratitude knew no bounds.

When I calmed down, I looked around and noticed that the cloakroom — and the janitor, when I saw him later that day — looked exactly the same as they had in the dream. Every detail, even the pile of books, matched up to my dream precisely. It still gives me goose bumps to think of it.

~Teri Tucker

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