Is it luck I’m here? The privilege of being born with a white face in a country where my passport allows easy access to almost anywhere in the world.
I don’t feel it’s luck that I now live a (mostly) stress-free slow-life: that took determination, vision, and a deep desire to follow though regardless of some of the anger and gossip it generated.
Is it luck that, because we’ve given up a rooted home we’re able to park with family for extended periods of time in a crisis? Or that we can still afford to live even with our income drastically cut because we chose not own a property or land sinkhole?
Life is a series of choices – sometimes they work in your favour, sometimes not so much. I’m not sure that’s luck – more living with the consequences of your actions – good and bad. But it’s not exactly that simple – where you start from makes a huge difference.
I look to these pine trees growing strong and free in the borderlands of Cymru – although they probably didn’t root here out of luck, maybe planted as part of this managed woodland. They might not live to their fullest age – the area behind them was recently felled.
Still these trees grow, still they provide shelter, still they’d offer up their wood to the axe. Perhaps it’s just luck who gets felled next – more likely the unlucky ones will be chosen as part of a management plan they have no knowledge of or say in. Does that make us their gods? What a disappointment we must be.
I suppose thinking with these trees on today’s walk I realise that all any of us can do is make the choices we feel are the best at the time within our environment or culture’s narrow set of parameters, then work with the consequences. In the same way a tree can choose which way to lean, how high to reach, but cannot uproot to a better woodland with a less aggressive felling policy.
In which case, it doesn’t matter one jot what any other tree in another woodland is doing, or how successful they look. We all have our own version of freedom, and our own axeman, it’s what we do within our time and limited reach that matters, the rest is perhaps just the ego echoing around the mountains of our minds.