Sometimes, when you are on the nine hour flight that followed the five hour drive that started at 5.30am, and the seat next to yours is occupied by a very active, very unimpressed, and very loud baby and their doing-their-best parent, and you have to decide between getting up (which will hurt, though much less than a week ago) and staying put (which hurts, but slightly less than the action of getting up, maybe), you find yourself reflecting on luck and circumstance.
Not probability, so much. Not the “you did X thing and the odds of Y outcome are Z”, not the generational privilege of things like having been born in the “right” zipcode, but that sense of an unexpected and even whimsical windfall, so celebrated in Hallmark holiday specials, by the Schuyler sisters, and in the occasional animated film.
When was the last time you felt lucky (did your brain autocomplete that lyric? You may be a geriatric millennial.)
For me, the answer is right now, this week. Because I know that a not-to-be-taken-for-granted number of things had to go right for me to have ended up on that plane next to that deeply over it baby. And given the alternative - not having been able to celebrate a very joyous occasion because of injury (unlucky!) or work (typical!) or crisis (2023, unrelenting!) - I’ll take my luck wherever I can get it.
Luck is not chance—
Fortune's expensive smile
The Father of the Mine
Is that old-fashioned Coin
— Luck is not chance by Emily Dickinson