“I believe that everything happens for a reason.”

Snow on cherry tree March 24th.

Blossoms on same cherry tree, April 9th.

Whenever I hear someone say… “I believe that everything happens for a reason”, I usually think to myself… “What an idiot”.   Don’t get me wrong.  It’s nowhere near as idiotic as saying… “Well, they are in a better place now”,  upon hearing the news of someone’s untimely demise, but, what I have noticed is both phrases are usually uttered by the same kind of people.   I won’t call them ass holes because that would be unkind.  Lets just call them magical thinkers… or, we can just stick with idiots if you like.

Together those phrases can tell you a lot about the way the person using them sees reality.  The first one is stating that reality isn’t like a game of pool, where the point is to get as many balls in the holes as you can, even by accident.  It’s stating that it’s more like a game of eight ball, where all the shots are deliberate and called in advance.  It’s stating that someone, or, something very powerful is calling all those shots.   Like God is playing eight ball with the universe.  It’s saying, about yourself, that you are the kind of a person who could never accept that the universe couldn’t give a shit about you, or, anything else.   It’s admitting that you would be terrified to think you had no significance.

The second one… the one about dead people being in a “better place” is classical.  It’s Magical Thinking at its finest.  Whenever I hear someone say it I always think to myself…. “Then why don’t you go kill yourself, and then you can both be in a better place?”

Now, how the hell does bird shit fit into this little diatribe.   As a reader you probably find this confusing.  You probably have confused looks on your faces, and you can’t help asking yourself… Where is the connection Mrs N.?

Mrs. N. will be happy to tell you.

I went outside at the crack of dawn this morning.  I planted 5 Leyland Cypress trees along the border between my tenant house next door and the neighbors who pissed me off many years ago.  It’s a long story.  The trees grow at a rate of 3 to 5 feet a year and will soon totally obscure any trace of a neighbor from my view.

When I finished doing that I cleaned out the gutters.  Then I pulled all the weeds in the flower beds and cut the lawn.  It was such a magnificent day that I decided I would do one of my favorite gardening things.  I edged.  I’m known for my edges and I confess that I take great pride in keeping them straight and sharp.  It is not at all uncommon for guests viewing my magnificent perennial beds to remark to each other… “My goodness, those edges are so sharp I could shave myself with them.”  It’s true, and I admit that whenever I overhear such a remark my chest swells with pride, naturally.

I had just finished edging the last bed over at the tenant house when it happened.  I felt it and heard it simultaneously.  I knew immediately what it was.  A bird shit on my head.

The material in question landed dead center, as if there must have been some sort of aiming involved.  Bulls eye!.. On a cranium denuded of hair and exposed to the endless sky for what must be 25 years now, at least.   Grass doesn’t grow on a busy street, as they say, and the avian excrement was easily wiped away with my left hand.  It was dark brown and white, as bird shit customarily is.  I immediately looked skyward, but, saw no bird of any kind.  It was hard to know what to make of that.

After I had finished my gardening for the day I showered and changed into a pair of shorts and a T-shirt.  It’s 83.3 degrees here, as I write, in central Virginia, up against the side of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I’m drinking a cold beer.  Out of curiosity I looked up on Google what it means when a bird shits on your head.  In ancient Greece it was considered to be just about the luckiest thing that could happen to a person.  It meant you were blessed by the Gods.  In China it means that a magnificent fortune is coming your way.  Every culture, it seems, views having a bird shit on your head as an exceptionally lucky thing to have happen to you.  So…. I got that going for me…. which is nice.

I mentioned earlier that the bird shit was dark brown and white.  I wonder if my readers know… what the white stuff in bird shit is?  

That question, and another one…. Did you ever notice,  when you see a large formation of Canadian Geese migrating in the shape of a giant “V” in the sky,  the two sides of the “V” are NEVER the same length?   AND, do you know why that is?...

Not being the kind of person who enjoys keeping people in suspense, I will answer both questions for you right now.

1.   The white stuff in bird shit is bird shit too.

2.  There are more fucking geese on that side.

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.


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5 responses to ““I believe that everything happens for a reason.”

  1. lifewithoutinstructions

    I must say the tree is glorious! I consider myself lucky if I get pooped on because that means I have the kind of yard a bird wants to visit. I happen to be quite a bird fancier. The more nature the better! I have been busy planting all the spring veggies…..and raising baby ducks! What fun being outside all day working and freckling! I am considering this new duck adventure to be blog worthy so do look for me!

  2. Ducks are fascinating creatures [lifewithout]. I wish I had the space for ducks and chickens and a pig. Alas, I live on Main Street and things like that are out of the question. I must content myself with flowers, shrubbery and veg. Oh, and a pool and a studio and magnificent trees. If you fancy birds you need a female holly tree. Every Feb or March the robins descend on my holly by the thousands to eat the red berries. They do it in 24 hours, top to bottom. They can’t produce red pigment on their own and they NEED it if they intend on getting a decent date to the Prom.

    I have always been crazy about shrubbery and flowers. When you are ready to blog again (and you should)… give us a heads up. My grandmother, who wasn’t tall, used to tell people she had Ducks Disease.

    Born with your ass too close to the ground.

    Be well my friend
    Mrs. N.

  3. This made me laugh Mrs. N. so there must be some truth in it. Thank you.

  4. Another enjoyable read… you always seem to write from the perspective of that ‘waterless desert’ that Camus defined as the absurd – an ability that is lacking pretty much everywhere one turns.

    Of course the real benefit of believing that “everything happens for a [magical] reason” is that it provides a fatalistic worldview that prevents one from seeing the world for what it really is, that is: indifferent to human meanings, desires, hopes, and from taking personal responsibility for changing those things that ARE within our control.

    • Thank you again Brad. I wish I could see something other than the absurd. It would be refreshing in a way, but, I confess to being satisfied with things as they are most of the time.

      Before I fell off into the land of Nod last night I read that the problem with human beings is that they are not satisfied to be just human beings. It was a quote from Becker , Brown, Rank… or somebody else… I don’t remember. It was there again, at the foot of the bed, when I awoke this morning…. just waiting for me.

      Be well

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