Today this parable,  a teacher once told, keeps running through my head…I looked for her book so that I could quote it verbatim as she tells it but I can’t find it and so I will parphrase it here.  Truth is its an old old tale.  Told thousands and millions of times before.

A farmer has one horse to help him do the work on his farm.  One day his horse runs away.  All the neighbors come by to commiserate…They weep and say to him, “What horrible misfortune…”

The farmer says, “maybe…”

A few days later the man’s horse returns.  But the horse does not return alone.  His brings with him a whole pack of wild horses who settle on the man’s land and become his.  All the neighbors come by to celebrate…They laugh and cheer and say “What great fortune you have…”

The farmer says, “maybe…”

A few days later, the farmer’s only son is thrown from the back of one of the horses he is trying to tame.  He breaks his legs and is unable to walk, confined to bed and greatly ill.  The neighbors come by to commiserate…They weep with the man and say, “What a terrible misfortune…”

The farmer says, “maybe…”

The next day the army comes through the village.  The round up all the young men who are able to fight and conscript them as the country has just been invaded and all able men are needed to do battle.  Because the farmer’s son has two broken legs, he is left behind in the care of his father.  The neighbors come by to celebrate…They rejoice with the farmer and say, “What a marvelous fortune…”

The farmer says, “maybe…”

At our house we have been trying to make sense of an autumn where life has really not gone how we planned.  Opportunities that we thought were blessings, turned complicated but have somehow righted themselves again..  Diagnoses that we thought were horrible led to successful surgeries and now a long descent into unknowing.  Fairytale endings morphed into the beginnings of nightmares which give way to relief.  Things changing, constantly changing and only being exactly what they are …right then…right there.

Tonight I sit stunned…hearing in the span of just several hours a rollercoaster of a tale.  Last night, a dear friend’s child was shot in the chest.  Last night he had a 1% chance of survival.  And now…he is conscious, writing notes, squeezing his mother’s hand.  But they do not know.  We never know. It is what it is what is…

As my heart learns to ride this rollercoaster I have stopped trying to anticipate what comes next.  My stomach will still drop when we hit those valleys.  I will still laugh like a wildwoman at the top. The fear of what comes next does not tamper the grief.  Experiencing the grief does not prevent the uplifting joy.  Being numb changes none of it.

Over and over again it seems the universe is whispering this tale “Girl…you only have the need for two words…now…and this simple word which encompasses the whole of possibility: Maybe.

Maybe Sorrow.

Maybe Joy.

Maybe up and down.

Maybe Heartbreak with a side of Love.  Maybe Love with a side of Heartbreak.  Maybe both mixed up in a stew.

Maybe new.  Maybe not.


4 Responses to “Maybe…”

  1. flutter Says:

    What an amazing web of words you weave. I will be thinking of him today, hoping and imploring that he heals quickly and completely

  2. Carmel James Says:

    I have never commented on your writing before, but thru our gorgeous Jen I have been periodically coming in and reading you for quite a while. I cannot even begin to explain why (read my blog sometime) but your post tonight has hit me right between the eyes. THANKYOU Meg! I actually really needed these beautifully strung together words right now.
    I hope your friends son continues on his healthy path and that the pain is less for his family.

  3. EmJay Says:

    Reading for some time, but never commented. Thanks for everything. The story of the farmer is in a children’s book we have in my house call Zen Shorts from Scholastic Books. Probably not the version you where looking for, but it might be close.

  4. Love Thursday: Without A Map - Meg Casey Says:

    […] Max has felt pretty clingy and undone–there is so much swirl going on in our life–so much instability.  Odette’s illness this fall really rocked his […]