It was my fault. I was careless. 

Exhausted from two days of volunteering at the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games (worth it), I couldn’t wait to step out of my kilt and into PJs, so I forgot to lock my car. 

I always lock the car. Always. But, Sunday night, my car was ransacked.

It’s unsettling to think that someone with ill intent has been rummaging through my belongings in one of the only things that is truly mine: my treasured road-tripping vessel of joy. 

I didn’t feel sorry for myself, though. I felt sorry for the degenerate who thought the least cool car on the street, circa 2011, was worthy of a hit. Loser. 

They were clearly unimpressed too, tossing about my vehicle insurance paperwork, used tissues (gross, but now I’m not sorry), lip-stick-stained masks (again, not sorry), hand sanitizer and packages of wet-wipes that really do not stay as moist as the package claims.  

Apparently, the hoodlum was not interested in my collection of coffee sticker cards, which surely would have netted them a free cup of fair-trade arabica bean coffee. Huh. They even left the little collection of sticky dimes and nickels that would surely buy – no, never mind, it couldn’t buy anything. 

I discovered my car in disarray early Monday, as I was heading to take my ill dog to the vet. I didn’t have time to react. I still had to get to work.  As I drove, I kept thinking, it’s just a car. I’m too tired to care. Nothing was stolen because there was nothing of value in my car. Besides, the things I value aren’t things. 

It would’ve been easy to flip out. There are criminals among us. There always have been. I could be afraid, but the first thing I did was call Beth, who I lovingly consider the matriarch of my neighbourhood, to make her aware of the incident. She helped me get the word out to other neighbours to be vigilant. Just knowing I could call her reminded me I was okay. I have incredible neighbours. That’s my community.

I stopped blaming myself for being distracted Sunday night. I had an exhausting weekend that was so much fun, even if it was a lot of work. It felt good to be a part of something in my community. I met amazing people and saw old friends too. So yeah, I forgot to lock the car because, when I got home, I just wanted to relax and snuggle my dog. No regrets. 

Now I’m getting pumped up for this weekend. Riverfest Elora is a big deal in our house. The whole family is volunteering. The Carpenter builds stuff. Our son photographs. My daughter and I will join the Carpenter in cleaning the park in the early morning hours each day before the crowds return. We’re doing our part to support those who make this epic three-day music festival happen, because we love it. That’s our community too. 

It’s easy to look at the dark side of society when we’re caught off guard, but this month, I am reminded more than ever of the value of community, of neighbours, of the spirit of volunteerism, and just how lucky I am to live where I do. I know who and what I value. 

This weekend, I’ll lock up and head to Riverfest to dance barefoot in the grass. Life is good.

WriteOut of Her Mind