As luck would have it

Jul 6, 2003

A hot, humid and very bright day here, and I went hiking at 2 o’clock to maximize my sweating, but once I was in the woods of North Carolina’s Eno River State Park, walking along the river on the Cox Mountain trail, I was quite comfortable. I kept thinking of the time in late 2001 when little Anna and I hiked along the same river. I can’t wait until I can take her hiking with me and we can chatter like squirrels about the mysteries of nature and the glories of state parks.

Then again, if Anna wants to talk about the latest Harry Potter book or some pop band, I’ll indulge her for a while. Then I’ll pack her and Erin and BabyZ-2 into the car and find the nearest roots band. Like Beausoleil, that great Cajun group, whom I heard tonight at the Cat’s Cradle. A fun concert, with couples dancing on the floor and the rest of us bouncing our legs to the beat.

Before the concert, I met Blaine and Becky and our friend Rinko for dinner at the Carolina Brewery. Blaine, who is unfortunate enough to have to leave us to relocate to Hawaii for law school, gave us a review of Intacto, a film about games of luck. Whereupon we discussed what it is that makes a person lucky. My mom was lucky to win a car once, from a drawing at Sears. But the car they gave her was a Fiat Strata, and in just a few short years it was reduced to a rattling rickshaw. Some would say that they’re lucky to be born American. Perhaps being born is really the only form of luck – some are born into poverty or terror, others into wealth and comfort. None of us has any say about how or when or where we’re born, and so the outcome is pure luck. All the rest involves a series of our choices.

What do you think? What is chance? Choice? Fate? Luck?

Anton Zuiker

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