Old & abandoned


Someone forgot the milk

I don’t know what it is that compels me to reach for my camera whenever I see a lost or forgotten object, like this gallon of milk someone left behind in their grocery cart at the Auburndale Shaw’s this afternoon. There’s something lonesome and forlorn about castoff things. I always wonder about the story behind these objects, and I feel sad for the people who left them behind. Is someone upset now that they’re home and find themselves with a full refrigerator of food, but no milk? Is some harried parent making an emergency trip back to the store right now because the kids will need milk with their Saturday morning cartoons-and-cereal tomorrow?

Angry Pig

I guess I feel a kind of sympathy for lost objects and the unseen folks who might be looking for them: who among us, after all, hasn’t lost something, and who among us hasn’t, at some point, felt lost? Often the lost objects I find (and compulsively photograph) are prominently displayed on fences, benches, or other eye-level perches: someone took the time not only to retrieve this lost thing but to place it somewhere that it might be found. The sight of such kindness from one stranger to another always cheers me: it seems inherently hopeful to think that a frantic searcher might find a castoff thing, all because of the kindness of an anonymous stranger.

Castoff glasses

One day last week while J and I were in New York, a woman dropped her sweater as she bustled down a busy Chelsea sidewalk, and no sooner had the sweater landed but a handful of strangers each lunged forward, separately, to retrieve the garment and alert the woman: “Ma’am!” “Miss!” “Hey, lady!” J noted how this instantaneous rush to help an anonymous passerby belies everything you hear about brusque New Yorkers. Although city-dwellers might walk fast and avoid eye-contact, there still lies within us an instinctive urge to reach out, retrieve, and reunite lost objects with their owners. Perhaps we all know, intrinsically, the ache of lonesomeness, and this compels us to reunite lost objects and lost souls whenever we can.

This is my contribution to today’s Photo Friday theme, Lonesome.

Off season

Collared

I’d love to know the story behind the large canine pinch collar someone has put around a tree in the vicinity of Cold Spring Park. Are Newton trees so rambunctious, they need prong-collar correction? Or did some dog, on his way to Cold Spring’s newly debuted off-leash area, throw off the choke of oppression before he got there?

Whatever the explanation, this much I’m guessing: this tree’s bark is probably worse than its bite.

Spring training

It’s another cold, bright day, with tightly furled crocus buds emerging but not yet daring to open. The light still angles deep, as in winter, and it retains a cold, sharp, colorless intensity. But you can almost feel the looming fecundity of the earth underfoot, even in places where the bare mud has refrozen to concrete hardness. Even through the earth’s obdurate solidity, you can almost feel the subtle rumbling of a tangled universe of roots awakening: spring in training.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might recognize today’s photo as being the inspiration for this morning’s Tweet.

Gloves

If you happened to misplace a pair of fuzzy-cuffed black gloves while in Newton sometime this weekend, as of this morning they were waiting for you at the Village Bank ATM in Waban Square.

Tree shadow on street

I can easily imagine misplacing my gloves while fumbling with cash, keys, and wallet at an outdoor ATM on a frigid weekend…but I can’t imagine going far without them. In only a matter of minutes, I think, my fingers would loudly let me know that I’d left something important behind. But then again, maybe the unfortunate owner of these lost gloves owns several pair. Maybe by the time she got back to her car, she grabbed the second pair she keeps there, or the third pair she keeps in her coat, or a fourth pair she keeps in her purse. Or maybe in the glove-rich town of Newton, she’s found that matched pairs grow on trees.

I’m serious about my multiple-pair theory because I do own about a half-dozen (at least) pairs of gloves, and I do parse them out so I’m almost never without a pair close at hand (pun intended). Over the years, I’ve learned to stock up on new gloves in the spring, when stores sell them at deep discount, then I stick them in the pockets of every coat I own. I stick the rest in a ragtag bag of winter wear I keep stashed in the closet over the summer, then right about now I transfer that bag to my car in case I ever find myself stranded and in need of an extra hat, scarf, or mismatched pair of mittens. You never know. When it comes to gloves and other cold-weather wear, I definitely subscribe to my mother’s philosophy that it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

In case of emergency, pray

This is, I think, my best found object yet: a well-worn Rosary hanging from a fire alarm. In case of emergency, pray!

Got glasses?

Here’s the latest in my ongoing series of lost and found objects: this time, a pair glasses dropped and then recovered along Beacon Street. Unless, of course, the fences have eyes just as the walls have ears.

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