If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there are no coincidences. Yes, it’s cliche. And I know you probably believe in randomness and chaos. I don’t blame you. It’s not easy walking around thinking that every moment and each encounter is significant. But for me, it is. That is, when I’m paying attention it is. When I get wrapped up in the world of others, I tend to think like others – and don’t see the wood for the trees. Which, unfortunately, is too often. But when I am paying attention? Well, it’s pretty amazing how everything seems to matter. Everything.

Tucker and Cozette, on vacation 2009

We’re currently on our annual summer vacation with the whole family. And for us, that means our dogs. Only, this is the first year without our dog Tucker, who we put down last November. He was a pretty old dog, and had been part of our summer vacations forever. Our kids decided we should bring his collar with us, and they brought it down to the beach the first morning. At some point that morning, my mother-in-law snapped this photo.

See the paw in the bottom left corner? Yeah. It’s a reflection from the sun. It’s nothing. Look, my mother-in-law isn’t what you’d call technically advanced. And I wouldn’t waste your time by photoshopping a picture for a blog post. We decided that Tucker was on the beach with us that morning. Coleridge once said, “Nothing is insignificant.” As far as I’ve been able to tell about life, he was right.

Jim Mitchem

Klondike Perfection in :30
The Vacation Paradox

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.