I’m a woman who appreciates order.
I learned early to clean my room, make my bed, put toys back in their place.
God lives in the neat and tidy corners of a house, a mind, a heart.

Unfortunately, life is not tidy.
As it turns out, she’s a beast.
She is a hurricane that will take down your trees and flood your streets and uproot your cherished way of existence.
She is a fire that will sweep everything out and leave you asking where and how and why to rebuild.
She is a pandemic that will take you by surprise and change everything you knew overnight.
She is a world of overgrown toddlers who did not get their nap, who will kick and scream and tear the house apart until they get their way.
She is relentless, fearless, unpredictable.

I thought I knew life.
She took you by surprise, perhaps, but always got you home in one piece.
She had an adventurous spirit but knew when to obey the speed limit.
She took coffee breaks and aged gracefully and told charming stories at parties.

This current life I do not know.
We’ve not been introduced.
She just barged in uninvited and thinks she owns the place.
How dare she.

I long for neat and tidy.
A set of rules, a recipe, a plan,
A map to buried treasure.
Surely, there’s an outline hidden somewhere.
Under a rock.
In the bottom of that old trunk in my mother’s basement.
Someone will find it soon, I’m sure.
The guidebook to get us through.

Philosopher, yogi, historian,
Artist, priest, rabbi.
Anybody got a clue?
I’ve consulted them all.
They haven’t coughed it up yet.

I’ll have to start the conversation, then.
Just me and this life.
I’m sure she’s got wonderful stories.
She’s probably a hoot.
You just have to get to know her a bit, and she grows on you, right?

First impressions are not insurmountable.
Perhaps someday we might even be friends.