I have a hot tub because of a broken promise.
I lent someone money once, a lot of money. It was for our future, he said, a future where we would be together forever. It turned out that forever for him didn't last that long, and he disappeared from my life, and into someone else's without a real explanation.
I didn't think I'd ever see that money again, but a year later I threw an email out into cyberspace. Surprisingly, it was answered, and the money came back to me.
What to do with it? The sensible answer would be to put it into a retirement account, or at least the bank. But that didn't seem right. This money represented an open heart, a leap of faith that turned into a free fall. It was meant for something special.
I helped prepare a patch of ground, poured concrete, and stained wood for a fence. My hot tub fit in the space I made for it like it was supposed to be there.
I love my hot tub. I sit in it almost every day, except during fire season. It's especially magical when the temperature is below zero and snow is falling.
I don't believe everything happens for a reason. Sometimes bad things just happen, and people do bad things, and there are bad people, too. Most of us are not going to have Adele come along and sing that she is sorry she broke your heart; most of the time these people just go away and sometimes you don't find out why.
I hardly ever think of that person anymore: I am indifferent now. It took me awhile to get here, but now I realize that I dodged a bullet, a serious one like the kind loaded into my .44, meant to take down a charging grizzly bear. Looking around over here on the other side, my life is infinitely better than it was back then and than it would have been if he had stuck around. And tonight the air is cold, the water is hot, and the northern lights are dancing across a sky that looks like a bowl of stars.