Coincidence or Destiny?

Coincidence, serendipity, synchronicity, fate, chance, accident, happenstance, destiny: what do you call it when things just fall into place? A most unlikely alignment that leads to a most agreeable outcome. We are certainly not short of words to describe those little, ‘what are the chances?’ moments that are so heart-warming when they occur. And occur they do – all the time. It need not be an overly significant event, just an instance to give you pause, make you smile, reinstate an element of wonder at the meaning of it all. Perhaps you say to yourself that it’s the natural flow of life. Perhaps there are times when you feel it is something to be acted upon, a gentle celestial push for you to move in a certain direction – towards a job, a person, a place, an action. Perhaps it’s nothing more than a reminder that we are bound together, all of us connected by a common cord. “I was just thinking of that very thing, then I clicked on your blog and you’d written about it.” I’ve been told that more than once.

It’s the stuff of romance. Take the 2001 film, ‘Serendipity’, where the protagonists decide to leave it up to fate as to whether or not they should become romantically entangled. Hopefully you’ve seen it and remember the story, but if not, here’s a quick outline of the plot. Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Bekinsale) meet by chance (or do they?) whilst Christmas shopping. Their hands touch with an electrifying spark as they reach, instantaneously, for the last pair of black cashmere gloves in Bloomingdales. Both unmarried, but not quite single, and immediately taken with each other, they exchange phone numbers. Sara’s piece of paper, with his number on it, gets blown into the wind. This she interprets as a bad omen, so, instead she suggests they place their fate in the hands of the universe. They inscribe one name and number on a $5 bill and the other on the fly-cover of a book that will be sold the next day. If each finds the other’s item, then they are ‘meant to be.’ Wow, talk about making it hard for yourself! It’s a rom-com, so you can imagine the ending. Needless to say, the universe got busy. If you have a real life story that can beat that convoluted tale – and I bet you do – then I would love to hear it!

I might scoff at the outlandish wanderings of a Hollywood plot line, (whilst loving every moment of it), but I do think such less dramatic moments are everyday, if we care to notice them. Surely everyone has experienced a moment of thinking about a particular person when the phone rings, and there they are. You read what you think is an obscure, forgotten book whereupon you stumble upon references to it time and time again. Seeking adventure, you decide to take a trip to Ouagadougu, get talking to the man seated on the bus beside you on the commute into work, and find out he’s just returned from spending a month there. You meet four friends for an evening out and you’re all wearing purple jumpers.

From the insignificant, to the light-hearted, to the just plain spooky; coincidences are everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled today, for you never know what might show up.

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