Nine years ago, in the winter, some friends came out to our farm. We had a big pile of brush to burn, so we packed the kids, sleds, sandwiches and marshmallows.
The gravel road leading to our land wasn’t plowed, so we had at least a mile hike in to where we would have the fire…and kids being kids…we took the scenic route. Nothing was quite as fun as making tracks over unmarked snow.
We sledded, drank hot coco, and finally, lit the brush pile. As most things seem to go in my life…it was more work than I thought. First it wouldn’t light. Then it wouldn’t stop. We were hot, cold, and dirty by the end of the day and grateful we had worn the oldest, rattiest winter gear we could find.
When we trudged back toward the cars, my friend dug in the pocket of his worn out snowmobile suit for his keys. They were gone. There was a great big hole in his pocket, and it slowly dawned on us that his keys were somewhere on that 80-acre piece of land, in 12 inches of snow.
We looked. We traced our winding path. We dug in the snow…but it was hopeless. In the end, Rich wrote down his VIN number, rode home in our van and got a new key cut at the dealership.
Since that day, nearly a decade ago, we have planted 20,000 Christmas trees at the farm, and often joked about those keys.
On Thursday we were pulling weeds between the trees and my daughter’s friend said, “I found some keys.” It was those keys.
Life is like that. Sometimes you look really hard for something and you don’t find it. Sometimes you feel like you need something right away, but it doesn’t appear. Then, every once in a while an unexpected gift shows up and makes you smile.
Friends are like that. Sometimes you don’t see them for years. You know they are around, but somehow you don’t connect. And suddenly, they are back in your life.
Peace is like that. Sometimes it seems impossible. Worse odds than finding a needle in a haystack. But then when it’s least expected, you find it right where it’s been all along.
Some things are hard to find. Keep looking.