Interesting, the title is our blog prompt for the day. I’ve been puzzling away at something similar for a post. Serendipity.
There’s a Japanese story (that I will totally slaughter) that goes something like this:
A poor farmer went out to work the fields in the morning, and he found a beautiful stallion tied next to his hut. The neighbors all said “What good fortune you have! Isn’t that the most wonderful gift? You are very lucky.”
The old man says: “Maybe.”
His son rides the beautiful stallion, and takes the goods to market. On the way back, the stallion is frightened by a wild boar, and the son falls off and breaks his leg. The neighbors say, “What a terrible misfortune! That’s awful! Who will work your fields? The stallion has brought you bad luck!”
The old man says: “Maybe.”
The Emperor sends his warriors to every village, to collect the best horses, and all the young men. There will be war. They take the stallion, but the son is useless to them, because of his broken leg. The neighbors say: “Good riddance to the stallion! He will make the Emperor very happy. The Emperor will think you generous, to part with such a horse. What good fortune!”
The old man says: “Maybe”
The neighbors say: “But how unfortunate that your son will not be able to fight for the Emperor and bring honor to your family name. That is a great misfortune. You are the most unlucky man in our village.”
The old man says nothing, as he watches all the young men march out of the village, but he thinks: “Maybe.”
I now own a horse I’ve loved for years! I’m ecstatic! I’m delirous with happiness! How incredibly fortunate!
Something crumbles in my psyche: I lose the easy confidence I have in my horse skills. This is terrible! I’m doubting and second guessing kiddie stuff in horse care. How unfortunate!
I find a temporary cure: I pretend I don’t own Hudson, and everything goes back to normal. How fortunate!
I can’t pretend every second. My automatic good horsemanship clarity goes fuzzy for the first time in my life. Among other errors, I walk between two cranky, hungry, scuffling horses, and get kicked. How unfortunate!
It was a bad kick to my good leg. After two weeks I get to stop using the walker. Now I have a hurt leg and a bum leg. Both are dragging. Going to the barn is out of the question. How unfortunate!
Bella and Alice generously volunteer to cover Hudson-care while I’m out. I know how big this is. How fortunate!
The bum leg has no choice: overtime! This makes it very sore. Now both legs hurt. A lot. How unfortunate!
As the weeks go by, my bum leg gets stronger, and my “walking” is more centered and balanced than it has been in years. Not even the gym could make that happen. Being kicked in my good leg. How fortunate!
The dog swallows half a chew stick without chewing. He doesn’t feel so good. It’s creating a backup in his digestive system. The vet says it’s too soon to x-ray, let’s see if it digests, give him mushy rice and chopped chicken. Maybe we can get him back to normal. Every day is spent worrying: did he poop yet? How much? How unfortunate.
It’s good, it’s bad, it’s good, it’s bad, it’s…
My perspective is fluid. It changes when new information is available.
I can’t answer “Do things happen for a reason?”. Personally, I lean toward the singular: “things happen”.
It’s what we do with what happens that gives us reasons.
What do you think?