Barbara: We’ve chatted here about coincidences and miracles and what is “meant to be” and all kinds of lovely things like that. I thought I’d share my daughter’s recent experience because it is so in this vein—and really makes me think about all the wonderful things that have coalesced at the perfect time in the perfect way to my wonderment and awe.
My older daughter, as many of you know, is in Paris right now. Well, let me let you in on the secret of how that came to be. She’s a recently graduated fashion design student who’s been working for a local designer for a few years already. But it was time to branch out and head into the greater world. She was all set to go to New York City and just let whatever might happen happen. There were impediments and frustrations along the way in planning this trip, but she was excited and ready to take them on. Then, at the 11th hour, she got an offer to work in Paris. A design internship with a couturier. As money most definitely was an object, her first reaction—as honoured as she was—was to say no. She didn’t have a place to live and rent in Paris is astronomical. She couldn’t afford it. But before she could give her great offer a polite and disappointed “no”, Phil remembered that we have friends with an empty… get this… fully furnished flat in Paris. Rent? A perfectly affordable amount. When our daughter realized that there were no practical impediments to her going (we won’t get into all the emotional ones), she took a huge leap of faith and made the move. Now, the truly—for me, her mother—serendipitous part of this experience is that it turns out this affordable, sweet, and perfect flat is also a two-minute walk from the studio where she works! You guys know how vast Paris is, right? It is vaaaaaaaast. Nothing is a two-minute walk from anything. The subway system is excellent over there, so getting around wasn’t really a concern, but how amazing is it that she doesn’t have to face a long commute every day? How … serendipitous!
As I said, perfect confluence like this made me ruminate on my own experience with serendipity. I have stories too numerous to share here, but perhaps my greatest encounter with it is when Phil and I decided to go to university. We’d met and fallen in love while attending CEGEP—a post-secondary, pre-college school system unique to Quebec. It was our intention to go on to university. It was our hope to do so together. After researching and auditioning for a number of universities, we knew which one was our number one choice … but they only accepted 25 students each year. We knew our chances might be slim to none that we would both get accepted into our top choice. But we did! And so ensued an amazing four years of study, discovery, and bonding.
Ironically, this form of serendipity didn’t grace this same daughter’s romantic experience. Her longtime boyfriend studied and now works in …. New York City. Interestingly, they are learning a whole unique way of dealing with the distance, which includes being utterly true to themselves while still supporting and nurturing each other. Maybe there is serendipity in everything!
Has serendipity played a part in some wonderful experience in your life?
Deb: I often think of the story Colin tells of his Mom and Dad when they came to Canada from Scotland. They moved first to Montreal and then moved to Edmonton and then to Vancouver. My father-in-law tried and tried to get work and finally had to admit that his family was going to starve if he did not get them back to Scotland. They had moved out of their rented house for the last time and they were in a motel awaiting their flight. My father-in-law at the last minute asked for a reprieve. He asked my mother-in-law to give him one more day, just one more day. This story always strikes an emotional chord in me because I think, “Wow, he must have known in his heart, prayed in his soul that this was going to work”. And it did. And my husband grew up in Canada and came to Toronto.