My winter coat is deep and warm and long. I had meant to take it to the cleaner at the end of last winter, but I never made the trip. It hung on its hook all through the warmer seasons, dirty sleeves forgotten. Now, it's not quite cold enough to wear daily, but there have been occasions. The first time I sunk my hand into the left pocket, my fingers closed around something small and smooth and hard. It's always a pleasant surprise to find money in a coat pocket. But this was something else: a stone, handed to me no doubt by small fingers for safe keeping. The memory of the exchange is gone, an exhale into the wind, but I have proof in my pocket. It is completely unremarkable, though: the color of any stone, such an anonymous shape, sized like a million others. I could toss it at any time -- it belongs everywhere -- but for now I'm holding onto it.
Because it reminds me that we're all --
that I'm just --
that at the core of everything --
No, none of that.
But I'm keeping it just the same.