The Keeper of the Keys

A sure-fire sign that life has gotten overwhelming is the moment I’ve misplaced my keys. I call it the misplaced key syndrome. It’s a telltale sign that something is askew in my rhythm.

This week I lost my keys twice within the matter of an hour. The first time I left them on a random box of stuff in my office. The second time they thrust themselves onto the ground in the woods during a moment of pure dance eroticism as I jumped and clapped to the tunes on my iPod.

Luckily, I retraced my steps both times to find them again.

Keys are helpful items that help us move places. Whether it’s to lock the door behind you or to crank your car into gear, keys are, well, key to our modern existence.

So losing your keys is a lot like losing your way. You are completely toast without them.

My keys help me realign myself by telling me loud and clear that they will disappear, remaining completely out of reach and offering no clues to help me recall where I put them last, if I dare take on too much. In those moments, they hide out on bathroom window sills or boxes of junk, giggling their butts off as I rattle around the house looking for them.

My mom once taught me a trick to retrieve any item that’s gone missing for more than five minutes.

“Have you prayed to St. Anthony, patron saint of all lost things?” she would call up to me from the bottom of the stairwell. I’d then take a deep breath, say a prayer and usually be led to the item right away.

St. Anthony was my first lesson in slow all those years ago. Whether or not you believe in the magic of prayer (I do), inhaling to the count of five helps slow your mind, ease your thoughts and find your keys every time.

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