As a child with a fertile imagination, my toys were precious to me. They were the totems I used to encourage my day dreams and often times lead my mind in new directions.
While not every toy was precious, even an average toy would become very important to me if it went missing. There were so many times that I emptied my entire toy box, crawled under my bed, or scoured the outdoors searching for lost Ninja Turtles. On more than one occasion I had to climb under the bleachers at a basketball game after dropping a toy through the slits under the seats.
So coming across this scene one night at a neighborhood park, I couldn’t help but empathize with the former owner of these toys. I was there so many times. I imagined the boy playing with these cars and getting distracted by something cool and amazing and running off to get a closer look at it. Then he’s called in by a parent, being told that it is time to go home and, in the rush, the once beloved vehicles are accidentally abandoned.
I remember the worry that a child feels while searching for a favorite toy and the startled shock when the realization hits that it is lost. If he is like me, he begged his mom to go back and help him look. The inevitable conversation about responsibility and taking care of ones toys is the only response the boy gets, which while necessary does nothing to console a troubled heart.
Looking on in the moment, I wondered if I could help, but what could I actually do? I had no idea who they belonged to or how long they’d been left there. There was no lost and found. If I took the toys, all I’d really be doing was stealing the one chance that the kid will came back and find his toys right where he left them.
So I took this picture, tossed up a short and honest prayer that they’d be found, and moved on hoping that these lost toys would be found once again in the loving arms of their previous owner.