During those days when life presents us with lovely surprises, do we ever think about how everything could have turned out completely different? What if our bored school principal hadn’t made that decision and we hadn’t ended up in the same class as our best friend that day? What if we missed out on our biggest success because we were busy planning a new dream by moving to another country? Or what if we had chosen to take a cab rather than riding the metro where we met that special person who makes our heart race?
Even if we don’t think about these scenarios amidst the rush of daily life, behind every memory we recall with a smile there are strange processes unfolding completely beyond our knowledge (call it god, fate, or coincidence). When we look back we sometimes can’t give it any meaning. We presume that we can see which choices carried us toward which decisions. We find reasons, we draw conclusions. Sometimes we even draw scientific conclusions and are more easily convinced.
Whereas life is neither concerned about scientific accuracy or what paths it will present us with. Whatever we perceive as natural (when things are going our way) suddenly becomes malicious when things occur against our desires. But it’s exactly those unexpected things that make our souls mature. If you’re currently dealing with unexpected developments or unfavorable news, remember that you’re not alone and that it will certainly pass. Good thing that there are so many others who tread the same paths as us. For example, this quote, which appeared before me quite unexpectedly, perhaps represents the pristine white flag we hope to find at the end of so many wars fought with ourselves and our lives.
“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
– Mary Oliver