Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

Year A Readings:

  • Genesis 32:22-31
  • Psalm 17:1-7, 16
  • Romans 9:1-5
  • Matthew 14:13-21

Hap

A lost transcript was the origin
of a life-changing event when I hoped to go
up the interstate to the University of Oregon.

I enrolled instead at a smaller school in Idaho.
The break from home was my firm desire,
but little did I know

this chance course correction would square
the circle. I was a nobody in the kitchen crew
at Sun Valley when the school year

closed out, and was quite sure
my floating world would persist.
But then, there she was, traveling through

as a guest. Fifty-seven years have passed
since we met at the Lodge.
Who knows which moment is meant to last?

Who knows! From the vantage point of age,
I could be looking back with ruefulness
at a listless river in a featureless landscape

or a hellscape of conflict or a life of emptiness
like the wave-polished shell
abandoned by the creature who used to dwell;
or enjoy a different contentment with someone else.

Devil-may-care at the time of first action,
my initial moves belong
to a thousand-piece puzzle near completion.

We make informed decisions, but life is long.
For happiness, there is no map,
and often it is simply the result of hap.

August 2, 2020

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