So you’re Canadian, and you spend at least a fraction of your time outdoors? Chances are there’s a particular good deed you’ll perform at least once before winter is through: You’ll try to reunite a lost glove with its owner.
It’s inevitable. We spot these items lying forgotten in the slush: a slim suede glove, or perhaps a knitted one, or a colourful waterproof mitten. And when we come across these, we take action, don’t we? We try to make a difference. We move them to one side of the sidewalk, wanting to spare them the further indignity of being trod upon (or worse – you see, mine is a doggy neighbourhood). Or we hang them on bushes like ornaments, or lay them on snowbanks, or balance them on stone walls. We have this idea that if we can make these mittens look more inviting, they have a better shot at being reclaimed.
I did my good glove deed this week. While out walking on a local street, I noticed a pair of abandoned black gloves – quite a find, really, as these items are so often left behind as singles. One glove was near the middle of the road. Its mate was lying in an adjacent driveway. I collected them both and displayed them on a nearby mound of snow, where the white/black contrast might catch an eye. To the owner of said pair of lost gloves, I hope what I did mattered. I think it did. The gloves had been scooped up the next time I walked by.
As a society we seem to feel strongly about reconnecting these lost gloves and mittens with their owners. Several years ago, one of our newspapers established a National Mitten Registry to help place homeless woolies. There used to be a New York City website with the same goal, called – wait for it – “One Cold Hand.” Even scroll now through Kijiji or Craigslist and you’ll find listings about found leather gloves, ski mitts, fun-fur mittens.
What’s all this effort really about? I think it means we wish our neighbours warmth… right down to the tips of their fingers.
P.S. While doing my glove research, I enjoyed this zany marriage of lost mitts, photography and poetry by British animator Simon Wallett. It’s Friday… take a minute to visit!