So I finished the book. The book I didn’t like. I can’t say I liked it by the end. I also can’t say I hated it as much by the end as I did in the middle. And somewhat begrudgingly, I have to admit it is sticking with me in a thought-provoking life-contemplating sort of way that isn’t wholly disagreeable.
I’ve sometimes wondered how my life would be if I’d done x instead of y. Most often, if I’d kept the extension I received in the Peace Corps and moved to Livingstone instead of Nashville. But I’m far more of a fate-ist than Ursula or Kate Atkinson. I believe things happen for a reason, even if I don’t understand the reason at the time. And, I believe the big things will work themselves out the way they’re intended to be despite my smaller (or even bigger) choices.
God has a path for me. Sometimes I see it clearly. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m not even sure where the next step goes and I stumble around for awhile. But in the rearview mirror, when I look down that path, even the stumbling makes sense. Sometimes I need to be further down the path than other times.
So Ursula’s many lives in some ways have me thinking again of what ifs. But rather than having regrets or dwelling on the past with anything less than appreciation, Ursula’s effect is to make me feel calmer about the future. As I tell people who ask I’m not scared about doing this thing or that or some circumstance they think is crazy, “God’s got me.”