Today, as I walked with friends along a strip of beach to share comradry and introspection of varying degrees, we came upon a gate in which the word serendipity had been carved. Upon seeing the words, one friend and I shared a brief knowing smile as we had just whispered those words minutes beforehand. Our knowingness deepened as we shared gifts of comfort in the shape of hearts to one among our gathering who had lost her spouse. We had not planned the affinity that existed in our mutual gifts, but they converged effortlessly as if we had. Fortunate happenstance? Divine intervention?
Sometimes in our search for something the unexpected appears. It is usually not what we expect and sometimes it is even better than what we expect. The challenge in our humanity is to keep ourselves open, to not be so fixated on an outcome that we can’t embrace a discovery that may be more amazing than the one we hoped for.
The unexpected is always a reality in the garden. We are “surprised” by the flower that colorfully unfolds more vivid than the last, the flock of chattering birds which land in a joyous frenzy upon the bird feeder, the hummingbird that faces us in a path more surprised by us as we are by them, the discovery of yet another plant when we surely thought we had seen them all! I am awed by the variety and resiliance of nature, for its inate ability to surprise and confound us, for the gifts offered from moment to moment. The only thing that gets in my way of seeing just that is me.
Today I had the fortune of being reminded that perhaps there is no chance. The awareness came in hearts shared along a walk, in observing the colors of nature from my window, in the fragrance of rosemary crushed between my fingers. I was not looking for the gift, but it came anyway.