Good luck, bad luck.

                                   “God does not play dice with the universe.”  ~Albert Einstein

~Snow covered the peaks of the mountains that surrounded the remote valley.  On the lower slopes reddish purple buds were visible on the tips of tree branches, and a reluctant thaw had finally reached the valley floor.

The farmer and his son stood in the cool and misty early morning air looking out at the dark, wet ground.  It would be hard work to till the heavy soil, but they would not wait for it to dry.  The short growing season did not allow for it.  As the father walked towards the field, his son went to hitch their horse up to the plow blade.

The small barn smelled of fresh hay and oiled leather.  The tangy fragrance pleased the boy and he smiled as he walked towards the old mare who had been his work mate his entire life.  She pushed her nose into his chest and enjoyed his warm touch as he rubbed her head and told her it was time to start working again.  She was anxious to get out. The winter had been hard on her old bones.  She felt stiff and sore.  As the boy adjusted her bridle and harness she shivered with pleasure at the thought of working out in the spring sun.  He lead her into the barnyard and she blinked as her eyes adjusted to the bright sunlight.

They worked until the purple dusk forced them inside.  As the boy was brushing the horse and giving her a rub, she felt relaxed and peaceful.  This day had pleased her; it was her contentment, her purpose.


At dinner that evening the farmer sat with his wife and son at the table he had made over twenty years before when he and his wife had first come to this valley.  The patina of the wood shone with a warm glow.  He ran his hand over the time smoothed surface.  His wife placed a pot of stew on the table and they all bowed their heads and quietly gave thanks.

The next few days they continued to till the earth.  On the fourth morning the farmer’s son came out of the barn to let his father know that the old mare had died during the night.

The next day the farmer harnessed himself to the plow blade and his son took the handles.  They stopped to pick out stones that the old mare would have had no problem pulling through.  Their progress was slow, but they kept going.

In the evening they sat down to eat, exhausted.  They always began their meal by  giving thanks for their many blessings.

Once each week their nearest neighbor would stop at their farm on his way to the market, some 5 miles away.  He would usually have tea with the family.  When he heard the news of their horse he was immediately concerned, “How will you plow your fields in time?  What will you do?  You can not survive without a horse, there is too much work.  What terrible luck.  What terrible luck.”

The farmer smiled at his neighbor, “Good luck, bad luck,” was his only reply.   As their neighbor walked down the road towards town, he wondered about his old friend.  Didn’t he know the trouble they were in?  Why wasn’t he worried?  If they didn’t get their fields plowed in time, if they didn’t plant soon enough, they would never harvest their crops, they wouldn’t make it through the winter.  They would starve.  He worried about his friend and his family.  That night, before going to sleep, the farmer gave silent thanks for their many blessings.

A few days later the farmer and his wife awoke to find their son had left the house early.  The farmer started his work and continued during the day without his son’s help.  Just before he plowed the last row of the day he spotted his son coming down from the mountain leading a spirited young horse.


At supper, after giving thanks for all of their blessings, the son told his parents of his quest to secure a horse for them.   It wasn’t until late in the afternoon that he finally tracked down a small herd of wild horses that they occasionally saw from their front porch running through the hills above their farm.  He chose a healthy looking mare, about six years old.   He thought he had her cornered against a steep rock when she abruptly reared up, was able to turn in the tight space, and get away, alerting all the other horses and ruining his chance at catching one of them.

He decided to give up for the day and return home.  As he was walking to a stream to fill his canteen he came upon a young stallion drinking.  He managed to quickly climb a tree behind the horse and when the horse raised its’ head he dropped a loop over its’ neck.  He threw the rope over a branch to keep a tight rein on the horse till he climbed down from the tree.

Now the horse was safely quartered in the mare’s old stall.  Tomorrow the boy would start the process of breaking in the horse.

On market day that week, their neighbor was greeted with the vision of the farmer’s son guiding the new horse around the small corral.  The horse looked strong and healthy.  The neighbor smiled and walked quickly to the corral.  The farmer walked over to join him and they leaned on the fence admiring the horse.

“It gives me endless pleasure to see that you have a horse to do your heavy work.  To be honest, I was very worried about you.  But, now…  This new horse is younger, stronger.  And you still have time to get a crop in.  You will have no worries come winter.  What good luck to have a son who can bring home a horse such as this.  What good luck.”

The farmer shrugged his shoulders, “Good luck, bad luck,” and smiled at his friend.

The neighbor walked towards town, wondering if his own son would be able to provide for him as he aged.  He worried about getting older and how he and his wife might survive.

The farmer and his family sat together that evening after supper.  His wife sat in a rocking chair beside the fireplace knitting a sweater.  The son sat by the oil lamp reading.  The farmer looked at all he had and silently gave thanks for his many blessings.


The son had tamed the horse enough to trot around the corral riderless, on a lead.  After leading the horse around the corral a few times one morning he eased himself into the saddle while quietly whispering to the horse in a calm, steady voice.  The horse skitted to the side and tried to rub the boy off against the fence.  The boy held tight and, using his foot, pushed off from the fence forcing the horse towards the center of the corral.   The horse lowered its head and began to pitch forward trying to buck the boy off.  The horse yanked at the reins, bucking backward and forward.  The boy was tossed into the air and landed hard on the packed dirt.

That evening the son lay on his bed with a splint on his broken leg.  He looked up to see his father looking in on him from the kitchen.  They smiled at each other.  The farmer gave thanks for his many blessings.

When their neighbor came down the road that week he saw the farmer plowing the field.  The new horse shouldered the blade forward through the dark earth.  He saw the son sitting on the porch, his leg in a splint, whittling a piece of wood, making s spoon for his mother.

The boy saw their neighbor and called out to his mother.  She made tea and the farmer took a break to join them on the porch.

They told the neighbor the story of how their son broke his leg while breaking in the horse.

“My, my, my,” their neighbor shook his head, “It seems you no sooner have a bit of good fortune, then this happens.  What else could go wrong?  What bad luck.”

The farmer looked at his son, “Good luck, bad luck,” he shrugged.

Their neighbor shook his head.  He would never understand this man who didn’t have the sense to know when he should be worried.

That evening while saying his prayers of gratitude, the farmer said a special prayer that his neighbor should know peace.

The next day their neighbor came riding through on his horse shouting, “It has happened, we are at war!  We are at war!”  He galloped on to spread the news.

When the army came through the towns conscripting all the young men for the front lines, they did not take the farmer’s son because of his injury. ~

When bad things happen to me I try to shrug my shoulders and say to myself, “Good luck bad luck.”   I feel that if it’s not perfect then it’s probably not done yet.

Some perfect affirmations:

I need not know how the universe makes my life perfect, I only allow it to happen.

I imagine my perfect life and the universe provides it.

I am happy, healthy, wealthy, wise, safe, strong, and loved.

I have wonderful people in my life, we laugh often and love much!

See your perfect life.  Enjoy your perfect life.  Be grateful for your perfect life.  Before you fall asleep at night imagine the next day exactly how you want it to unfold.



5 thoughts on “Good luck, bad luck.

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