Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Reason Everything Happens

This goofy little blogspot blog is where I started all this eastforkspring business. I eventually registered a real domain, wrote a lot more nonsense on a prettier site, then left the East Fork. Not just the blog. The river. Gone. A few years ago, I let my blog and my real domain go and made my last post here, with a broken heart. I feel compelled to post again because I have too much to say to keep quiet. I posted in this particular place so as not to deny my personal prologue. 

I never stopped visiting the river I fell so carelessly and completely in love with. Even when it tore me up. It did every time. 

Until today.

Today I went to visit my river, my son in tow. We skipped rocks and talked and listened to the East Fork's quiet rushing. My beautiful river. My hands reached into the cold green water and I welcomed the hurt into my joints. Then we left. 

This time I brought my heart home with me. 

Instead of accepting my freedom at face value, the philosopher in me was compelled to consider it. To try and make some sense of the fundamental nature of my reality. 

Life ebbs and flows. Sometimes despite or because of our best intentions. Sometimes we are punished justly for bad behavior or wrong thinking. Sometimes we get windfalls we don't deserve.  

According to Merriam-Webster, the primary definition of windfall is something (as a tree or fruit) blown down by the wind. Think about that. An unearned advantage, something torn from something else, gained at the whim of the wind

I'd never embraced the notion that "everything happens for a reason". It seemed so dismissive. As if we're here to serve a preordained and cosmic plan and we ought not attempt to make sense of anything at all. Now that I consider the actual words, stripped of their baggage, I can't dispute the fact. Everything does happen for a reason. Always the same reason. Simple cause and effect. Action and reaction. What can make life seems out of control and unpredictable is the cumulative effects we feel from a data set too great to comprehend. Certainly too great to process.

My takeaway is that the universe is sensitive. We are sensitive. It's our greatest asset. It's what makes our lives valuable and worth living.  

Being sensitive is to be changeable. It's what enables us to grow. It's what helps us experience beauty and happiness after pain and loneliness. It's what makes it possible for one romantic gesture to alter the course of our lives.

It's also our greatest responsibility to be mindful of that sensitivity. To affect positive change. To cultivate love. To do less harm. Because what we do affects other people. In small ways, in large ways. In cumulatively inconceivable ways.

For the first time in a long while, I feel hopeful. My heart is so full my chest aches. I owe my windfall to the people close to me. These people are already mindful of sensitivity, and of their responsibilities with regard to ebb and flow in the universe. In my universe. My River didn't let me go. They did. They have surrounded me with so much goodness and kindness. They have cared for me so perfectly I could not help but respond and feel perfectly cared for. Finally.

Love given into the world is love received. I am grateful to again feel that in a real and effectual way.  Thanks to my teenaged boy. And my adult boy. Thanks to my family and my friends. And thanks to the wind. 

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