The Dirt In Our Choices

Your favorite little place, that so few people knew about. Somebody’s small business. A place that always felt like home.

You noticed things there, of course. When the floor started looking a little dirtier. When it took a little longer to get service, or those occasions when what you always liked to get there wasn’t available.

Then, one day, the “closing” sign went up. Not long after that, a “thank you for your business” sign was placed outside the now-locked door.

You think of all the times you went there; but more, you think of all the times you didn’t. When you chose other businesses, places that were a little newer, or maybe a little flashier. And you think back to that dirtier floor, and you wonder: did I put that dirt there? Was that dirt a result of my choices?

All our choices have dirt in them, I’m afraid. Those corrosive elements we carry with us that foster life in their original setting, but are inimical to life when transferred. The business we don’t visit. The family we don’t call. The friends we don’t reach out to when we think maybe we need to.

Even the better habits we never get around to forming.

Life is a cycle of openings and closings, starts and finishes, births and deaths. What makes life meaningful is what we do with the time in-between. We can’t stop the gears from winding down, but we can, maybe, not add quite so much dirt onto the gears.

Your favorite little place, that so few people knew about. Somebody’s small business.

And a choice that’s not there to make anymore.

That Door

If that door never opens
It’s locked for good one day;
And dreams, and jobs, and memories
Just up and go away

That door is watched here, daily.
They count the times it swings:
And if the number gets too low,
They’re on to other things

Then one day, we want choices,
But all of them seem poor –
For things were better, once, but we
Just never used that door —

If that door never opens
It’s locked for good one day;
And dreams, and jobs, and memories
Just up and go
Away