The stars may align, the universe may conspire to precisely spin the threads of our lives, there may indeed be a reason for everything. There may also be no explanation for serendipitous claims except coincidence. Random, chaotic chance. Believing that things happen for a reason or that there is some greater plan of destiny at work has never been my taste. But there are times in life when your beliefs about otherwise fluffy things are challenged and although I hate to admit it, my own threads feel as though they are being pulled in one unexpected direction.
I met Tierre only twice, in passing, while we both still lived in Victoria. Both times I was exhibiting at a craft fair and she, with her exquisite style and to-die-for handmade hats, had come by my booth. Perhaps I complimented her hat or her shoes or maybe she had commented on my work but there, somewhere between my paper art and her sculpted art she wore so well on her darling head, the universe began to conspire.
As many of you already know, I am set to spend the summer in New York. And it may be said that how that came to be might have also been graced by serendipity.
Through the window of social media, I noticed that Tierre had moved to Toronto last winter and had been in New York, on occasion, since then. Having never spent any time with her in Victoria, I had the idea to write a note to see if there was a chance she might also be there this summer. It strikes me as odd in retrospect but I figured it wouldn't be out of this world if she happened to visit for a weekend and if the summer is all about chance and connecting with strangers, why not reach out to a kindred spirit? Within days of this, I received a sweet note from Tierre sending me well wishes on the move to Ottawa and to offer that if I was ever in Toronto, we should have a visit.
It was the same day I had set out to write to her about New York. So I responded to her message.
As life or serendipity would have it, Tierre and I will both be in New York for almost the exact same amount of time. Our dates are only days off in arriving and departing. And not only that, she has also offered for me to stay with her for my last three weeks when I haven't had a place booked or arranged yet. I held off on booking a place with the muted hope that something would magically appear. And poof, it did.
Two creative spirits find themselves in New York City, the opposite coast and country of where they first met, to spend a summer digging into their work and walking, arm in arm, I imagine, gasping at everything in unison.
Is it only serendipity if you believe it is? Do you have to believe in it for it to work? Can you feel it pulling at you before you even know what direction you are heading in? If it does exist, I imagine it feels something like the tug of falling in love. The gentle pull towards the fall. Knowing that falling means believing there is something there to catch you, even if you can't see it. And because you can't see it, you have to simply trust in it. Trust that you are on not only the right path, but an illuminated one that can only be found in the dark, eyes closed, being lead by your heart's quiet knowledge of what lies beyond the lit path.
I'm taking a class this summer in between the relishing and gasping. The instructor wrote to me after a few exchanges and offered me this:
Upon the moment of commitment, the world conspires to help you.
She ended the note by saying, 'and then do everything in your power to make it happen.'
Serendipity may exist, and so may luck, and fate, and destiny. But it does not find you if you don't throw yourself in the way of its path. Without outwardly saying what it is you want or need or desire, serendipity will not find you. Luck doesn't go out looking for you. Fate doesn't know you exist. If you are not willing to commit and do everything in your power to make it happen, it probably won't.
The gentle pull or swift tug is your call to arms. Your call to action in your own life. It's not chance or luck that happens to land in your lap. It's the commitment you give to carving your way, even if you don't quite know where you are going. I've been quiet about what has been truly pulling me this year as I know the road is long and challenging and sometimes outright demeaning. For the first time in my life, I am keeping my cards close to my chest not for fear of failing but for the belief in my soul's calling. When we know something to be true to our core, we don't need to announce it from the rooftops. We can let the softness of our truth speak for itself. The hard work will simply rise above.
Whatever conspired or didn't, this summer will surely prove to be memorable in ways I can't yet imagine. With great and many thanks to the lovely woman that is trusting me with her cat and her home, I have been connected to a handful of like-minded women living in New York. The class I'm taking will certainly be made up of equally like-minded individuals. My cousin and her family are only a twenty minute train away from where I'll first be staying. And now, Tierre will be there too.
Lonely, I won't be. Inspired, I'm sure to be. In the right place at the right time, may be whatever it will be.
And for all of that, I've taken the comments of a couple of dear friends to heart and have decided to let serendipity guide me.
The shop will remain closed for the summer. Do stay tuned here and via social media for a little project I've been cooking up.
With love and serendipity,