The word “serendipity” was coined by Horace Walpole in the 18th century. He said he formed it from a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, in which the heroes were continually making happy discoveries by accident — and, Walpole added, by sagacity, the wisdom to recognize those accidental discoveries as significant and meaningful. The action of finding by serendipity is usually accompanied by a feeling of delight, because of its unexpectedness, and often gratitude, because it is, after all, a gift, not something one was searching for.
So I’ve been overwhelmed by the chaos of moving into our new home, the myriad details to be attended to, the coordinating of things that stubbornly refuse to be coordinated, the messiness of everyday life multiplied ten- and twentyfold. By turns I’m grumpy, anxious, stressed, wiped out — I could add a whole bunch more unpleasant emotions —and pressed for time, and preoccupied with detail, and — to sum it up — I was without a post for this blog, something that hasn’t happened since I began way back last summer.
Then, in the course of today’s urgent errands back in the Berkshires, we popped into our favorite Lee library, where we found Pat and José, two of the special people who make it a place of gracious hospitality and welcome. I told that story in an earlier blog post here.
Well, today José told me how that post had appeared at a particularly opportune and important time for him, because of circumstances I had known nothing about.
And I said, Wow, what a coincidence!
And José said, Coincidence is a messenger sent by truth.
Another WOW, this time internal — because it just so happens that several blogs I follow have lately been about coincidence and randomness and accident — and José’s definition was both different and provocative. I said thanks for giving me a great quote for a post, and he said, Oh, but it isn’t my quote. It’s from a mystery writer called Jacqueline Winspear. Do you know her?
Would you believe the coincidence that she’s one of my favorite mystery writers? Yes, you would believe it. In this case, the wisdom about coincidence comes from the mouth of Maurice Blanche, psychiatrist/guru/mentor of young investigator Maisie Dodds, heroine of Winspear’s series set in post World War I England.
And that’s how my post came to me, and is brought to you — by a prince of Serendip.
Coincidence is a messenger sent by truth