You can’t take it with you. But what if you could? What if the keeper of the gate allowed one personal carry on? What would you take with you?

Me? I ruled out any of my people right away. One: the choice would suggest favor. Two (and more importantly): why would I assume any of my people want to give up their journey to tag along on mine?

Pets? Similar reasoning.

So what then?

I won’t need my car, surely. The bike seems equally unnecessary beyond the gate.

Money? Hah! Spent it.

Books? Just one? The conflict of favor again: how to pick one over another?

My laptop? Hard no. Leaving updates and technical hiccups behind for sure.

A notebook? But what good is it without a pen? Or a pen without a notebook?

I can’t think of a single being or thing I would take with me. I mean, even tacos get soggy after a couple of eons.

Maybe just the heart or mind or soul—whatever it is that collects knowledge and memories, records the wounds and proud flesh, stores the essence of my experiences. That’s enough.

I’ll pivot here: instead of fretting over “You can’t take it with you,” I’ll focus on what I leave behind.

And you? What would you take? What are you leaving behind?

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2023