Fate Is Not a Fickle Finger

By Jim Berlin

A Wednesday: College and active Marine Corps duty finally behind, I accepted my first job in journalism as a cub reporter in an adjoining state. A career I’d settled on at age eight.

On Thursday: While actually in the process of packing, I got a surprise offer from a newspaper closer to home and took it.

On Friday: My first night in the new city – a city never before visited – someone mentioned a coffee house called La Bodega. I went there, found a corner, ordered espresso, listened to a folk singer do a blues number called “Alberta”…

Alberta, let your hair hang down/ Alberta, let your hair hang down/ I’ll give you more gold/ Than your apron can hold/ If you’ll only let your hair hang down.

At 9 o’clock a guy came in with his date, a dark-haired beauty who snapped all my senses to full attention. They could have sat anywhere but he chose a spot that put her next to me. So close I had just enough time to get her name when he went to the restroom.

On Saturday: After some tough detective work (I had her last name wrong), I tracked the lady down and we went out for coffee.

Today, a Saturday again, we’re celebrating 50 years of marriage.

Some people say fate is fickle – just a fanciful concept for the way things happen to turn out. I say Fate is the finger of God, not pushing us about like chess pieces, but gently prodding, pointing…hoping we’ll notice the path He wants us to choose.

And, if I could today, I’d give her more gold…than her apron could hold.