Good Providence: An Agnostic’s Tribute

Providence: The care, guardianship, and control exercised by a deity; divine direction

Human fortunes notably run in cycles, a glut of good fortune followed by a patch of bad. If we’ve lived long enough to cultivate a panoramic view or prescience, it is only natural to expect the sinusoidal nature of our fortunes.

The next peak or the next trough will always come, there can never be any doubt about it. We accept that we’re born and we die; we know we work within those two bookends, but we refuse to acknowledge as an irrefutable fact that our fortunes are cyclical. We try countering the cyclicality with superstitions that suggest that it’s never a good idea to bask under a smiling sun of good providence. Doing so, most of us believe, signals our complacence, or hints at hubris; somehow tempting the fates to take it all away from us.

I have also been afraid of jinxing my very extended run of luck. A glance back at the life, that has preceded every moment before this one, is a trip down a memory lane lined with fragrant meadows, green pastures and gentle winds; classically bucolic. I don’t recall any unpleasant speed bumps or potholes or confusing forks in the road on the paths I have already treaded.

The fact that I am aware how grief feels, or how sadness can cast a grey shroud over everything, or the taste of salty tears, or the shudder brought on by fear or apprehension, shows that I have lived and have been sentient enough to recognize these troughs. However, the bigger picture, the aerial view of the time that’s passed shows serenity, peace and gentleness; as if the rest was too insignificant to register or leave any lasting impressions.

If there is a higher power, a guardian, then I thank her (wonder why I feel the power is feminine!) for the blessings she has bestowed. In moments such as this I feel very much like her spoilt and bratty child; like a child who is constantly testing her limits, a child who loves upsetting the proverbial applecart just to observe the tumbling apples and the frown on the face of the owner of said applecart. I thank her for her indulgence, for her infinite patience in allowing me to learn from my mistakes rather than punishing me with consequences that could certainly shorten the frequency of occurrence of the sinusoidal troughs.

I am human and come with guaranteed frailties, so I know I will continue to do what I do best till the day I die, that is: be human.

But I want to acknowledge, with grace, the good providence that enables me to live my life in relative serenity.

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