And that’s the “What If..” questions. They’ve been coming up lately, and as this winter starts to fade luxuriously into spring, I’ll start writing more about the opportunities and events and experiences that have been unfolding lately. Sometimes I touch upon them, but I’m on my own timeline lately, and it’s made no sense and more sense all at once. Remember this post, as time goes on, because what if everything is illuminated? Then you can see it all – every which way.
Scarlet and I were talking last weekend about the mind-boggling things. The What Ifs.. “What if you go left right now, instead of right?” And I said, “What if you go right, instead of left?” If you start to think about how every tiny choice you make every minute of every day contributes to the journeys of your life, you can’t wrap your head around it. In Florida, along a crystal clear river, we stayed on a wooden pathway so as not to disturb the local vegetation. My brother-in-law and I couldn’t help but talk about Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder.” Scarlet kept asking me about the plot, and we talked about how the little things – like butterflies flapping their wings – can change the course of a tornado or a thunderstorm. How it can move mountains and waves.
I always used to think, and I still think, about my given point in time and how relived and happy I am to have gotten here. And that’s because no doubt, the path here hasn’t been smooth – it’s riddled with boulders and windstorms. Even if I think about five years ago, and the painful echos of miscommunications and misunderstandings, or the overwhelming and aching aspects of parenting. And then there’s my job. I always think about how glad I am to have gotten to where I am right now, and how I don’t have to do it over again. And if I did, what would I do differently, anyway? Would I go left instead of right? Would I have smiled at the right person at the right time? Yes, every time. I’m glad it’s not all really as random as I make it sound. The “What If” of life. Underneath it all, our hearts beat in rhythm, and we go by instinct and love and bravery.
I used to think about that a lot when the kids were younger – how happy I was that they were here, and whole, and loving, and I didn’t ever have to go through that again. It wasn’t easy. And I think I only made it look easy. I was a decent enough pregnant woman, at least on the outside. Scarlet was a breeze, and Des was harder, but still easy in the grand scheme of things. Two healthy children, here on this earth. Pulled into my arms – and wanting to be there too. I can go any which way, and inside out too. Maybe every direction would have pulled me here. Inevitably.
Last weekend, on the way home from Vermont, we talked about my nuclear family and its oddities. Scarlet said that if my father had lived, I would have lived a completely different life. I would have been in different homes with different family members, and different schools and different paths and maybe different passions and a different spouse and different kids, or maybe none at all. And what is it that I would have retained in a “What If” scenario, down a different road on a different day? What of my “me-ness” was meant to transcend all of these billion realities and possibilities, of one simple butterfly flapping its wings across the decades?
The other day a friend was going through a hard time with her son, and her daughter really stepped up to make her night, and maybe her life. My mom wrote a story – about when my father had died and she woke up one morning to find my big sister feeding me breakfast.
That stuck with me all week, and will always. That story wrote this post, in fact, because I was going in a completely different direction. What if I had written something else? Would it resonate? What of my “me-ness” would remain intact, and transcend through the blog posts? It’s probably the part of me given breakfast by my big sister. I don’t know what she gave me – cereal with milk poured sloppily and lovingly over it? Stale bread or half-burned toast? I know that the simple act was a butterfly flapping its wings, and I’ll hear those echoes throughout life.
Every tiny choice you make, and all the parts of you that would fly anyway? Into the world, into the light, into the color – flapping your wings for all the rest to breathe your breeze. And turn.
This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “What if..? (With Photo Prompt)” And there’s time to write. Come link up HERE.