January 14, 2024

By Arthur H. Gunther III

     There aren’t many moments perhaps when you put on a fall jacket, even in winter or spring or the occasional cool summer morning that you do not think of when another such covering  was borrowed.

     That jacket may be long gone as are the shared moments. Just as the garment was not meant to last, so too the pairing.

     No deeply held regret as two people go on to other lives for which both have been grateful, surely blessed. And that growth introduces other people who are now writing their own stories, for themselves, their partners, offspring, the very world. 

     Yet back in its time, a fall jacket borrowed when she was cold is a memory like the deeply moving book you read more than once. 

     A jacket-shared not only chases the cold but warms the heart and its feelings. There is trust and assurance in that wearing, closeness that means more than physical attraction, a hand reached into the unknown and then grasped by another.

     Jackets do not endure beyond use and purpose. True winters come in weather and life, and other apparel is required. The fall jacket-borrowed becomes something to wear alone in season.

     It goes on a hanger or on the back of a chair, pulled off in necessity. Yet with that pull comes memory woven as much in the fabric as is wool or cotton. She put it there.

     The writer is a retired newspaperman.