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serendipity you can count on

March 23, 2011

I’ve expended a lot of energy in my life on the frustration that follows when a day

gets away from me.  You know the experience.  No matter what you do, no matter

how meticulously you’ve planned, every entity, from an all-loving God to Gaia to

the Cosmic Goof to Ronald Reagan’s ghost to random chance, laughs at you as one

and says “write this one off, pal.  Better luck tomorrow.”  It feels like you’re sliding

backward in time.


I had such a day MondayBut — probably because of recent contact with my dear

friend and spiritual guide Ducks (not her real name) — I immediately gave up my

illusions of controlling it and yielded to its own goofy timing.


The day started rationally enough.  I picked up Ian, the chap who installed and

maintains our alternative energy system, at the ferry.  He had to replace a part

that got fried in a lightning strike and add a lightning arrestor to arrest any future

lightning with the same idea.


Ian had his 6-year-old daughter with him.  I assumed his corporation was having

a Take-Your-Daughter-to-Work day.  Then I remembered that he’s self-employed.

It was more like a Your-Daughter-Is-Out-of-School-for Spring-Break-and-Your-

Wife-Believed-It-Would-Prove-You’re-a-Thoughtful-Spouse-If-You-Took-Her-

with-You situation.


Ian worked quickly and I was able to get he and child back to the next ferry home.

So far not bad.  I was 10 miles from home and five miles from the island’s only gas

station.  I knew our F-150, notorious for its unquenchable thirst, was low on gas.

I knew that Jude was bringing two cans of gas home with her.  I chose to play it safe

and headed for the gas station.  That was the smarter choice.


About one click (exactly 62% of a mile) from the station, the truck ran dry.  This

was the pivotal point.  I could curse my luck or welcome the opportunity to get

some exercise.  I went with the healthy option.  I pushed the truck to the side of

the road and set off into the warm spring day.


I walked to the shop of the fellow who repairs our vehicles.  He and his wife were

having lunch at the counter, but were as gracious as always.  It turns out that they

are organizing the island’s softball league this year.  They encouraged me to come

to the first meeting.  I used to play a lot of softball.  I think I’ll show up.


They loaned me a gas can and offered to take me to the station and back to the

truck.  I declined because they were dining.  Across the street from their shop

I met two friends, Dave and Matt.  They hadn’t been able to make it to the Good-

Riddance-Winter party.  I gave them the headlines from that.  They told me that

they were getting gigs.  They’re both accomplished musicians.  Dave offered to

take me to the truck.  I accepted and told him I’d meet him around the corner

at the gas station.


When I got there, my neighbour George was filling up.  He was headed my way.

I went back and told Dave I’d found another ride.  I was soon on the road.  I drove

home slowly in the friendly weather.  A lot of people were out working in their

yards.  There were several folks in the island’s community garden.  Spring is not

only official, it’s really here.


What once would have been a pissy day for me turned out to be a delight.  I com-

plimented myself for not getting nutty over a minor inconvenience, which was

actually a nudge in the direction of The Flow.  The looser I stay, the more I

realize this place teems with serendipity.


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As a reminder of this lesson, the first draft of this post was lost to a glitch this

morning.  That’s why I’m posting late.  But that’s cool.  This version is better.

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