field coat jacket with pocket contents

Looking at what you stuff into your coat pockets offers a sketch of your character.

When I sifted through the spoils from our road trip, half of what I brought back were pieces of nature. I realized that I do this all the time.

Take, for instance, the contents of any of my coat pockets: In almost every one you will find at least one small stone.

Usually it’s a round one that I picked up along the beaches of Lake Michigan. I like rubbing it between my fingers, savoring the texture of its surface. Here is someone, it indicates, who likes nature, who likes being outside.

Then I remembered that my mother always has Tic Tac Mints in her coat pockets.

When on occasion I slip into one of my mother’s coats, my hands will soon be playing with one of those Tic Tacs, and I can literally feel that that coat is hers. Here is someone, it indicates, who is concerned about having bad breath and thus of what kind of impression she will make

Our coat pockets are little manifestations of who we are.

This weekend, while picnicking out in the country, I emptied the pockets of my field jacket, to really took a look at what I carry around:

  • a glove (not the practical working gloves that should go with a field jacket, but rather a hint of my urban life: thin and knitted, with a buttoned cuff and ruffles around the edges)
  • a crumpled grocery list (the practicalities of life are never far)
  • some coins (ditto)
  • an acorn (I love those guys; too bad they usually fall apart as they dry)
  • a piece of seaglass (so wonderfully smooth!)
  • a shard (picked up on the beach for its cool colors)
  • five small stones (the one with the porous surface is the best for rubbing)

I picked up some of the stones to take home, and then found it more comfortable to have them in my pockets.

I also love how different things live in my pockets while the coats are out of season, waiting to be rediscovered when my hands slip into them on that first frosty morning in the fall.

So the question is: What’s in your pockets, and what does it tell you about yourself? Or might you use the contents of someone’s pockets to provide a little insight into their character?