In the book “A Jest of God,” later made into the film “Rachel, Rachel,” the thirty-four-year-old narrator, a never-married schoolteacher in her “last ascendant year,” finally decides to move away from her small hometown. I’ve lived a far more adventurous life than her character, who is situated in a different place and time period altogether, but I love this beautiful passage, as she pulls away from home on the bus:
Where I’m going, anything may happen. Nothing may happen. Maybe I will marry a middle-aged widower, or a longshoreman, or a cattle-hoof-trimmer, or a barrister or a thief. And have my children in time. Or maybe not. Most of the chances are against it. But not, I think, quite all. What will happen? What will happen. It may be that my children will always be temporary, never to be held. But so are everyone’s.