JRR Tolkien wrote about Hobbits as the common people who are interested in food, gardening, and visiting with neighbors. He celebrated them as possessing true power. They don’t have super powers they simply value the simple things of life.
Now, this is where my socks come into this story. Several years ago, I decided to buy only cute socks. Life is too short to wear only plain socks. I’ve loved the little joy of deciding whether to wear the cat socks or the hummingbird socks every morning. People say nice things to me about my socks. My socks make people smile. That is power indeed!
Since I love my cute socks, I was upset when one of my honeybee socks didn’t come out of the wash. I looked and looked for the stray sock. I saved the mate in a safe place and searched for the missing sock for weeks. This occurred a couple months ago. I’ve been a little sad over my missing sock every time I see its mate.
Of course, my missing sock didn’t upset me as much as this Mother’s Day weekend. As usual I planned to sell a lot of flowers on Mother’s Day. This year in addition to the usual rush, I picked up a special order for a memorial service. The only flower the customer mentioned wanting was lilacs. The lilac bushes were a little past prime, but I nurtured, fed, babied and refrigerated two-dozen perfect stems of lilac. My weekend troubles began when the customer came to pick up her order. To make a long story short the customer didn’t want the lilacs after all. By the time she left with her flowers, I felt bad that she hadn’t liked what I put together according to her specifications, and my business partner felt cheated.
My second weekend drama came when I reminded my hubby that he might want to do his chores early because it was supposed to rain in the afternoon. He snarled at me.
Feeling a little roughed-up by my husband’s crabby behavior and my flower customer, and my business partner, I decided I needed a nice conversation so I called my brother to talk about a trip we want to take in the summer. He told me he had just gotten out of the hospital where he had surgery for colon cancer. He said that his biggest problem had been the blood clots that formed after the surgery. The clots hit his lungs. I was horrified that he’d been so sick and nobody had called me to stay with him in the hospital. And well… that he’d been so sick.
Finally, we came to Mother’s Day. My mom passed three years ago, so I don’t have a mother to celebrate with. My youngest birth daughter dutifully called me, and my youngest foster daughter sent a sweet card. I have three other daughters. The two foster daughters occasionally decide I’m not their real mom despite the fact that I raised them so they blew-off the day. I suspect my oldest daughter was having the same kind of day I was, and the step-son she raised spent the day with his birth mom who had abused him. I can’t blame her for spending the day in her garden and forgetting the outside world.
Perhaps the worst event of the weekend came when I heard a peculiar scratching sound in the kitchen. I went to investigate and found my fourteen year-old dog on the floor unable to stand. I lifted the seventy-pound dog to his feet. He walked a few steps and went down again. This companion who stayed beside me through my stroke and cancer is having trouble getting to his feet. I’m heartbroken at the very thought of saying goodbye to this dear friend.
By Sunday night I was feeling pretty depressed. I’d worked really hard on the flowers all weekend. The few people I’d talked to had been cross with me. My brother was seriously ill. A couple girls who had no excuse for not sending a card for Mother’s Day had been silent. And for the crushing blow, my dog obviously has few days left on earth.
Here is where the power of something as small as a sock comes into my story. On Sunday night, I went to bed a little early thinking I’d go to sleep and Monday would be a new week with no drama in it. I felt tired and somewhat hopeless. I ached all over from working in the garden and helping that huge dog to his feet. I tossed and turned trying to find a comfortable position. I rearranged my pillows. I rearranged the cat’s pillows. (He takes most of the pillows on the bed.) As I tried to push the cat’s pillow out of my way, I felt a peculiar lump inside the pillowcase. I sat up, put the pillow on my lap and felt around inside the pillowcase until I found a wad of fabric. I pulled out my missing sock. In that moment, my world turned right again. I’d found my missing sock. The joy of finding that which was lost was great enough to drive out the frustrations of the weekend.