I should have been home today. Waking in my old room to the rumblings of family downstairs. Driving the oh so familiar road past the old Lutheran church, around the quiet curve of neighborhood until I reached the little white house on the acre and a half lot. Sitting on the blue checkered couch that always curls into my body as I visit with my grandparents, who lift their voices in delight when I walk through their kitchen door.
I should have been looking into the laughing eyes of my brother, mint and intelligent, clear and kind. I should have been by the lake, sized small and insignificant beside its blue body.
Instead, I ran like my lungs never give out in the brisk morning air. I talked with God about the tender places of my heart, listened while He told me to trust Him with what I cherish most.
Some people gather wildflowers; I collect leaves for my bouquet, stopping my cool down walk to bend and pick russet speckled leaves and hold them gently in my hands, paper thin veins darkening the bright yellow. Some are still damp with drops from last night’s rain. My pile grows plump as I linger on the path; I will press them into cards I mail to those I care for, so they can have a piece of me from this city that no longer looms so unfamiliar.
My life is made up of choices. I used to believe I had one route I needed to find God’s plan. I worried, when faced with two options, if I had to choose, I’d choose the wrong one. I was afraid of disappointing Him.
Now I see that He’d be disappointed if I didn’t use the mind and heart He gave me, to process and abandon the vast array of what if’s that arrange themselves on me like second skin. To lean into Him and rest in my decisions, loosen my eyes to look around at scenes deliberately shaping where I step.
Each choice I make does not come with a should have. This is life. My body is in the middle of it. My heart beats in synchronization with the pulse of others. What I decide, I set in stone and walk, head up, accordingly.
I should have done a lot of things differently. I should have been someone whom everyone admired. I should have stopped second guessing my should haves a long time ago.
I am me, and all dots in my existence drew me here. I cannot fight with fate when this precise space in time has sent me breathing in this air. How it fills my chest with a new shape, rearranged.
I am who I am. Sent where I am. Open to embrace the evolution. Brave enough to make the very most of how I spend my days, no looking back, no wondering why.