Five-thirty in the AM on a drearily dark Saturday morning. Loose gravel crunches quietly under sneakers between home and highway. The flashlight beam is the only illumination on the road ahead. Focused on the set course, yet occasionally, swaying and pausing, its light drawn to a sound or sense of movement, in the tree line that borders either side. Because at any given moment Disney’s delusional depiction of encounters with “friendly woodland creatures” could go all to hell… in reality, if startled, Bambi would kick you in the face.

Once asphalt is achieved, there is a pause in appreciation of the silent street and then a casual 180. Spotlight engaged, steps are retraced, the stark silence and chill of the early morn is deafeningly soothing. Reaching the drive, some internal realization that it wasn’t quite enough prompts 2 left turns and the trek begins anew.

Why are we out here long-distance pacing in the dark? Enjoying nocturnal nature (as long as it doesn’t jump out at us)? Exercise? Working things out in our head? A basic need to just MOVE?

Certainly, there is a reason and any one of these would suffice. But it becomes complicated when one considers the effect of the butterflies.

Whilst drifting through the dark, 2 neighbors drove past. One leaving, the other returning. What did they make of my presence? Materializing out of the darkness in their low beams. A lone figure traversing their darkened street, passing their residences, waving a flashlight around. Until recognition, did they perceive me as a prowler with malicious intent? Will my unusual and unexpected presence at that early hour alter their day? Will a butterfly effect I set into motion change the course of their very lives?

In the grand scheme of things, could the true reason for the walk not have been the perceivable reasons at all… at least not for someone else?

Twenty minutes later there were no butterflies present. Sitting alone in the living room. Eating pound cake for breakfast as Rod Serling introduces a classic episode of the Twilight Zone. No reasoning here aside from the obvious. Maybe no reason at all?

“For whatever reasons, Ray, call it fate. Call it luck. Call it karma. I believe that everything happens for a reason.” Quoted from Dr. Peter Venkman; played by Bill Murry in the original 1984 Ghostbusters.

“Everything happens for a reason.” This reassuring turn of phrase is oft offered to provide a sense of comfort to another’s negative situations. The loss of a loved one, failure to get that promotion at work, a relationship break-up, an accident, zombie apocalypse… At these times, at some point, someone will reassure you that there is “a reason” things happened. Though if pursued they’d hard pressed to provide it.

It would seem that “everything happens for a reason” only as the result of a bad situation. You never hear the reasoning of everything mentioned in response to a positive scenario. “Hey, I just won a $1,000 on a scratch off!” “I got the job!” “We’re having a baby!” well… everything happens for a reason. Yeah, it just doesn’t work that way. And yet even positive things are part of everything. So therefore, wouldn’t they, too, fall into the logic of everything’s reasonable happenings?

Does everything happen for a reason? Whether positive or negative, big or small, life changing, or momentary whim, is there reasonable logic working in the background? Or is this just something people offer as condolences when there’s nothing else left to say?

It would be nice to believe it does. That through a grander scheme, destiny, butterfly effect or God’s will, that there is reasonable balance in the universe. On occasion we glimpse its apparent potential with almost instant clarification­ — i.e., a delayed departure results in missing a fatal accident. But what about when the reason isn’t so immediately obvious? When it comes years down the road, at a point when we’ve forgotten the happening of it?

Would we find comfort if we knew the reason? Or try to change things to accommodate the reason. Most likely changing the reason’s reasoning in the process?

There is no definitive conclusion here. No reasoning behind the reason of everything happening. So maybe if everything happens for a reason… not knowing the reason is part of everything?

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected].

Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused! See ya.