Most schools have a lost and found. In fact, most places, such as theme-style parks with high-traffic attendance, have them, as well.

If you lose something, even children, the “Lost and Found” is always the first place most check.

The other day, I was rummaging through a box of photographs I’d taken searching for a specific photo from my early days in photography — my own lost and found of photos I’d kept.

It was a special photo, to me, because back in my early days it was a time where everything was on film and it was a batch of photos — probably one of my first sets — I developed myself.

Back then, film had to be taken out of the roll, wound on a steel reel and put in a canister in a dark room with chemicals added for the developing process to produce a set of negatives. From that, prints could be made in yet another type of dark room.

It was a tedious process, but something I wanted to learn from the ground up, and boy were chemicals for both developing and printing photos expensive back then.

So, to my box of “Lost and Found” photos I went.

While looking for that one photograph, which is my featured image, Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau, Bavaria, Germany, I ran across a multitude of photos I had forgotten about.

To say it was a long day of looking is an understatement. In that box were tons of photos I had forgotten about — some of which I thought were lost in all the moving around across states and countries over the decades.

In my search, I found memories, which reminded me of all the places I’d been, people I met and times I’d let slip away from my conscience mind.

Looking in my “lost and found” reminded me of hearing people say they were trying to “find themselves.”

I always thought that was a strange sort of way of saying they were confused or lost.

As a former sports editor, I would laugh every time I heard the phrase in football about a quarterback “finding” a receiver in the end zone. I thought it was funny because football is a game about players and executing assignments, and being where they were supposed to be, meaning, they weren’t really lost if they were where they were supposed to be in a specific place, in this case, the end zone.

People really don’t really lose themselves, literally, but figuratively people lose themselves all the time,whether it is internally, or the path they’ve chosen and find themselves on.

Their core — what or how they feel and how they react situationally is all right there in their own internal box of “Lost and Found,” they’ve just forgotten where it is.

Everything we’ve experienced in life, and how we’ve reacted or dealt with it both successfully and unsuccessfully and our moral compass is all right there in our own box of lost and found.

And for most, there can be a lot of “photographs in the box.”

Within each of us lies the answers. Who we really are is never lost. Our own box of “Lost and Found” is always there, somewhere inside us.

It may be chock-full of misplaced “photographs,” but within that box — somewhere — are the answers to who we are as a person.

Now and then, we all need to go through our own box of photographs and throw out some of the clutter to reveal the “photos” that really matter.

There will always be both good and bad photos with memories attached to each singular click of the shutter — throwing out the bad shots of our past and all the excess clutter, will free space in our lost and found box for the “shots” of today and new memories of who we are today.

While it is OK to reminisce about good past memories in our own box of lost and found, the bad past memories only take up room, which can leave little room for the new good shots of who we really are today and the most recent past.

Maybe it’s time to clean out your own “Lost and Found” box — when you clean out the clutter, what’s left is where you will find your way to shine and perhaps, what you believe you lost will be something you never lost — but found again.

9 thoughts on “LIFE IN THE LOST AND FOUND”

  1. Dear John, I enjoyed the reading your post on ‘ Life in the Losr and Found.” Clearing out the old does leave space for the new. True point, about how clutter, because either we needed or we don’t and if we need it cherish it or dump it. Happy writing.


      1. I don’t even have a camera anymore just the phone but I miss the good le time when to find out if pics were good or not you had to print them 😉even if there was about of waste😜

        Liked by 1 person

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