What could be construed as fate or serendipity has played a big role in my life in the past few years. Especially when Matthew and I first met, one thing after another kept happening to us that seemed to really cement our future together (read our love story and you’ll get a little taste), and it always seemed too, well, coincidental, to be just a coincidence. We attributed our fate to God and the “law of attraction,” which both of us were big proponents of, especially then… back before life beat us down to ghosts of the souls we once were.
But it IS funny how much crap has gone down since our fairy tale beginning. I think they call it… real life? Things I’ve blogged about, and things I haven’t.
Anyway, one lovely, fateful event occurred when Matthew and I were house hunting here in Austin. Long story, but we’d almost moved to California before deciding to live in Austin, and while we were house hunting in Cali, there was one home in particular I’d fallen in love with. I loved the inside, too, of course, but one little perk of the property was a glorious lemon tree out in the backyard, complete with lots of plump, ripe lemons. I thought it was a sign, since I’d always wanted a lemon tree.
Well, that house didn’t work out, and for good reason. We were supposed to be in Austin.
While on the house hunt here, we were finishing up a long list of places to see when we arrived at what would become our current home. It was one of those where you walk in and just immediately get a good feel from the place… like, yeah, I could totally live here! We loved the flow, the open floor plan, the potential. And when I walked into the kitchen a second time after touring the house, Matthew beckoned me over to a fruit basket beside the fridge. Inside that basket was a lemon with a note beside it that said, “from the lemon tree out front.”
“If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.” Said Matthew. And I cried.
Obviously,we bought the house.
And you know what? In the two and a half years we’ve lived here, that damn “lemon tree” never produced one bloody lemon. Not even a little green bud that looked like it might someday become a lemon. We laugh about it all the time, and usually curse at the “lemon tree” when we walk by it.
This morning I was out watering the fake lemon tree, and I was thinking about life and how symbolic this silly story is. Sometimes things work out, and sometimes they just don’t. Sometimes something you think is going to be perfect winds up being flawed, like most things are. When it comes to fate and serendipity, I think we all have a lot more of a hand in things than we think. We assign our own symbolism to what happens to us in life. We shouldn’t just sit back and try to decipher meaning out of the arbitrary. We decide.
And I’ve decided that the lemon tree was a lesson. Sometimes life makes big promises, and fails to follow through with them. (or perhaps you simply had misguided expectations?) Sometimes people hurt you, and people die, and you find yourself lost for a little while. Sometimes things need to happen to get you to where you are, even if they’re disappointing or unpleasant. But you can’t sit around and wait for the lemon tree to produce.
I suppose the lesson here is this: when life doesn’t give you lemons, plant a different bush. Or better yet, go buy some dumb lemons from the grocery store.