“But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren’t alone]
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promised joy. ”  –Robert Burns

Who planned for their life to this point in time?  If you had asked me when I was about to graduate from high school where I would be in 30-plus years the answer would have been – not here.

I might have agreed upon family, career and a comfortable life.  I may have pictured myself as I am, on the west coast rather than hunkered down amidst my east coast origins.  But nearly everything else has been a best laid scheme.

The human mind likes a plan.  Thoughts revolve around what we want to have, where we want to go and what we want to do next weekend.  Is foresight really vain?  Like the mousie of Mr. Burns’ poem, I set about to build my nest without a thought of it being unearthed by anything.

And yet I have to tell you I am more than happy, more than blessed, more than fortunate.  Why you ask?  Why and how could you be considering, well, so many things you have been through?

I have literally had people look me in the eye and say, “I thought I had a rough life until I heard about what you go through.”  And so, it is best not to rely on others’ for uplifting sentiments.

I my friend have everything I need.  Even in moments that are less than glorious, I have wealth at hand that never fades and will not pale against a stormy day.  I cannot point to a book, or a person, or a solitary concept without embracing the entirety of creation in my riches.

Needless to say that grief and pain are painted into the artist’s work, but so is promised joy.


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