This is a short assignment I wrote after recovering from that weird sleeping sickness a few weeks ago. You know, when just not being sick feel like a million bucks? Why do I always write about myself in the third person--as if that makes it less self-centered.
In truth, Angela was one of the luckiest people in the world, though she usually didn’t like to think so. You, if you are reading this, may well be one of the luckiest people in the world as well. If you have enough to eat most every day, if you parents loved you and tried their best to care for you, if you can read, if you go to bed at night with only the vaguest fears of burglars or bogeymen.
Why then do we usually avoid thinking of ourselves as so lucky? Partly we don’t care to think of all those who, unlike us, suffer from hunger, neglect, or dangers too real to contemplate. Whose parents never tried, or failed, or were thwarted. Whose minds or bodies are shriveled.
But more often, I think, we don’t care to believe our luck because doing so would require us to recognize that this world--where toes are stubbed, checks bounce, and dust settles; where loved ones quarrel and everything new wears out or is lost-- is truly the best one can hope for. That there is no other world where luck always runs our way and entropy cannot reign.
But today, for this moment at least, Angela saw clearly her blessed luck. The sun shone brightly, and she took no notice of the spots and smudges on the windows through which it shone. Just yesterday she had lain in bed in a stupor of fever, her brain muddled, her limbs heavy. Every movement a toil and effort.
Today she woke with head clear, fever gone. It seemed no trouble at all to walk downstairs and make bread for supper. The simple absence of ache and fever freed her to realize the joy of an unburdened step. She could discern the blessed luck of spinning on one’s heel to reach for the salt off the well-stocked shelf.
The dough made a soft shuffle-slap-slap as she kneaded it on the clean countertop. It became silky smooth under her hands and, for the moment, she stood face to face with the truth of her luck.