Swinging from the Quantum Tree

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Freedom .


Life is made up of little turning points and big pictures. It’s a tree with infinite branches, each one a choice or decision or event that leads to a different timeline, a different infinity of universes, only one of which to follow to the end but all possibilities for the future. The roots of the tree are always there. The tips of the branches are always there. And we’re somewhere in between. Everything exists at once, but if you start at any point and trace the turning points, then you must follow them in a linear fashion. Life in that tree means a clear look behind at where you’ve been, unless you lose sight of a few turns, and a not-so-clear look ahead at all the possibilities, some more obvious than others.

I’ve gotten wet too many times this week, and a little chilled in spite of my attempts to stay indoors during my work day. I don’t like living where it’s cold, though 43 degrees in Florida isn’t really cold, I suppose, and it won’t stay cold for long. I miss my long walks under the stars, and Winter makes me restless. I’m too busy right now to get sick (doesn’t that sound familiar!), so I’m having to take a little extra care when I really should be less determined to burn my existential candle at both ends. But in the big picture, maybe another bout of illness is just what I need. I hope not. I’d like the option of getting to where I need to be without the sniffles.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the tremendous change in my life in the past year, and the opportunities that have been provided to me. One little turning point that started two years ago brought me to this path, but of course, turning points in the lives of other people brought them into my life at these times, too, so the pattern is so intricately beautiful that it had to have been by divine design. Or…by designer shoes.

That’s right. Designer shoes. I don’t care much for designer clothes. I’d rather design my own. Never liked designer jeans, either. Didn’t much care for somebody’s else’s name on my ass, either literally or figuratively. And I especially don’t care for expensive designer shoes. I’m just not a Sex and the City type girl, I guess. I’d rather be barefoot in the grass…or sand…or on marble.

But in December 2003, I bought a pair of black loafer-type shoes. Practically flat. Very sleek and conservative. Perfect for the black suits I was wearing to work then, when I was on the General’s staff, and easy enough to slip off whenever possible. And they were on sale for about $30, after Christmas. I didn’t pay any attention to brand name or the original price. I didn’t even know that they were such pricey designer shoes until Shannon found them in my closet and borrowed them for a forensics tournament and Shannon knows designer shoes.

Yet when I bought those fancy shoes at about 75% off, I also bought a new turning point on the quantum tree.

Flying By Night novel

The first time I wore the shoes, I could hardly walk the next day. My knees were killing me. The next time I wore them, same thing. About the third wearing, I figured out it was the shoes, but by then, my knees hurt consistently, and since I never seemed to take a break and stay off them, they got worse, and worse, and worse.

By September, I was in physical therapy for my knees… which brought on a lot more changes for me than just stronger legs. Through my knee injury, I met a new group of friends and acquaintances, each one introducing me to new concepts and new people and each of them introducing me to more new concepts and new people.

I owe 95% of the spiritual epiphanies and new knowledge I’ve received in the past year to those crappy designer shoes.

Once I can back away from the twigs and leaves and see the forest for the trees, I start to see the big picture. How a simple knee injury put me in the right place to meet new catalysts in my life. How it’s all connected…how we are all connected.

If anyone would like to walk in my shoes, I wear a size 8.


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