Every year on May 9th, we mark National Lost Sock Memorial Day. We do so not for the lost sock in our washers and dryers, but for the lost sock in all of us.
Socks enter the world as a pair. Always a twin — never recognized for its individuality. Taking on the role of the protector for our precious soles from daily friction and discomfort.
After grounding us all day, a sock is thrown in the washer to be slammed around in complete darkness, tolerating separation anxiety from its partner, never knowing for certain if they will reunite. A sock does not have an easy life, yet, the sock abides! It is said that socks are the least likely and most needed item to be donated to homeless shelters as most of us wear socks until they’re worn out. We become attached to our socks, but what do socks represent? Why is it so much easier to donate or discard other articles of clothing, while socks remain with us until their bitter end, until holes are formed, until fabric unravels, until their grip loosens?
For some, an unmatched sock can be a reminder of frustration and grief, as well as a dependency on something minute yet almost essential for survival.
A lost sock soon disappears into the abyss of wetness and heat. It journeys to lands invisible to us humans. I wonder: maybe the lost sock chose to wander. To find its own way. To take the steps to no longer be walked all over and finally be autonomous.
Today, I want to celebrate the lost sock. What if the lost sock has finally found itself and decided it was worthy of being a lost sock? To maybe one day be found and met with a mismatched, unlikely colorful pair! Today, we celebrate the sock who took the plunge and made it out on its own. You did it! No longer needing to tip-toe through life and finally able to stand on your own two feet (one foot?).
Sometimes we may feel like that lost sock — let’s allow ourselves to celebrate those times when we took that plunge, unafraid! Perhaps it was when we took off the training wheels on our bicycle, perhaps when we had bid farewell to our homes in pursuit of a college degree in a different state, or perhaps when we decided to end a relationship that had incessantly oppressed our true selves. Let’s allow ourselves to take that plunge into the wetness and darkness and heat of life!
To paraphrase beloved writer J. R. R Tolkien, not all those socks who wander are lost.