Coincidences help the dots connect
Some of you may gasp at hearing that I’ve pared my book collection down to one shelf. I know. How could I part with beloved books? My justification was that it takes a lot to move them and while they were great to read, generally once was enough. Of the precious few that I couldn’t live without for one reason or another, three of my favorites are by the same co-authors on the same subject. The Small Miracles books by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal are a collection of essay stories about extraordinary coincidences from everyday life. Each time I reread these well-worn paperbacks, my interest in synchronicities is peeked along with my intention to notice them more in my own life.
One of the most astounding stories in the series features a young couple recently married who are out boating on the lake where they grew up. Upon their return to shore, the wife realizes she lost her wedding ring in the water. Her husband scoured the lake to no avail and then promised his wife to replace it. She preferred to go without because of its sentimental value. Years passed, seventeen to be exact, when they decided to bring their family to the lake of their childhood. While out in the boat, they caught plenty of fish for dinner that night. Imagine the shock and excitement when the mom cut open one of the fish and discovered her wedding ring!
Coincidence is defined as a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection. Depending on the situation, often these happenings are called miracles. Some see them as spiritual connections and many others dismiss them as “happenstance,” “random” or “just plain luck.” Several well-regarded philosophers such as Carl Jung have voiced their opinions but science researchers remain skeptical for the most part.
Without getting too philosophical here, I think coincidences are a fascinating example of how some of life’s “dots” can and do connect. I’ve found the more I acknowledge synchronicities, the more frequently they occur. Recently I started keeping a journal and in one week noted that a bank teller at a new branch office waived a normal transaction fee, the cashier at an eatery rang up my meal at no charge without giving me a reason, and a vendor at the farmer’s market gifted me a dozen eggs. Coincidence? No big deal? If nothing else, it makes for a delightful story. Maybe that’s why I wrote about it. Or did I have a more profound reason? I will let you decide.
Originally published: Cheryl’s Corner, The Orange County Register, May 11, 2016