There are always paths not taken. Corollary to that idea, of course, is that we won’t ever know with any certainty what those paths would look like.
There are glimpses.
My childhood is littered with sets of toys like those above. Two tractors, nearly identical in every way. One pristine and barely used; the other beat to hell.
This is the archeological evidence of two brothers. One who lived and one who died too young. It is the proof of two alternate realities and I spent most of my young life looking at those unblemished, hallowed toys and wishing there was someone to run them through the mud with me.
I’ve lost my interest in collecting. Having a thing just to have it has become an absurdity to me. Things are meant to be used, worn out, fixed and, yes, even replaced if necessary. If they are not, they are only monuments to the things we have not done. The chances we have not taken. The lives we have not lived.
I intend to leave a trail of worn-out things from here on. I feel like that’s good advice for most of us.