Serendipity means a "happy accident" or "pleasant surprise"; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful without looking for it.
This word is one of my favorites.
This word is one of my favorites.
I love serendipity, or should I say, I am comforted with serendipitous moments in my daily life as a confirmation that my life is so much bigger than me. If I were to define it, I would not use the word "accident" because I do not believe that serendipitous moments are by accident, but truly by design. For me, they are inexplicably, stepping stones or guide posts as I walk through this journey called life...they tell me I am going in the right direction.
Here is a serendipitous story I would love to share with you....
The Buttonwood tree
( A true story : )
I have been fortunate to move back to my childhood home with my teenage son during a bit of a rough patch in my life. Honestly, moving home was not my first choice, but little by little I am finding so many benefits to being here.
Encouraged by my doctor to get out and take a brisk walk every day, lead me to walking down old familiar roads that I walked and biked as a child. With these passing years, sidewalks have appeared on some of my favorite places to walk which have now become busy roads.
As I walked down a particular street, I remembered as a child, the road being lined with fragrant lilacs in the spring, and bringing bunches home to put in a vase on my bedroom window sill.
(to fill the room with fragrance when a breeze came through)
This sunny day, as I walked along reminiscing, I stopped and was amazed by a certain tree. It was huge, yet its branches looked graceful as they reached for the sky.
Its bark somewhat reminded me of a birch tree, but instead of peeling, it was more spotted with different shades of color. I imaged if I took a close up photograph of the bark, one may not know what they were looking at.
This one particular tree had a swing hanging from one of its tall, huge branches. A perfect spot to take your cares away, being held securely by the this tree's huge limb.
One afternoon, I asked my 82 year old mom to join me on this favorite walk of mine with its all inclusive sidewalks.
She was not sure if she was up to the length of the walk, but we just took it one street at a time.
When we reached that particular street, I said, "Mom, wait 'til you see this tree!" (I know that may sound strange, but I knew she would understand! : )
As we approached it, we studied the bark and its massive branches
and marveled at the thought of taking a turn on that swing! How freeing that would feel!
We then continued on our lovely walk, past the wild raspberry bushes, fields of wild flowers and albino horses grazing on the grass.
The following week, I took my mom to visit my oldest brother in Vermont.
We were sitting on their porch taking in the magnificent views of the mountains and enjoying the summer day.
My brother was pointing out the landscaping work he had had completed on his yard including the trees he had planted. He then pointed to two birch trees he had planted.
I then told him about the tree that I loved and the walk I took mom on and how I pointed it out to her.
He then started to ask very specific questions about this road we had seen this tree on.
He then asked, "Is it on the right hand side as you drive towards the farm?" I said, "Yes." He then told us a story of going by that tree with my father and grandfather, who came to visit, when he was a little boy.
(Mind you, my brother is 14 years older than me and it is almost as if we have completely different memories of our childhood, shared with different relatives, traditions and places.)
He said that he remembers my grandfather (who died when I was a toddler) being drawn to that tree and stopping to look at and telling my brother is was a "Buttonwood Tree".
I couldn't wait to get home to research the buttonwood tree and sure enough, he was talking about the same tree!!!
Tell me....what are the chances of all of this information lining up???
"Happy accident"....I think not.....
"Happy Guide Post along this journey called Life"....
I think so!
As I stopped today to take pictures of the tree, I met the owner of the house and found out that his house just sold, and although he said he would like to, he could not take the tree with him.
He told me the tree was over a hundred years old.
I told him the story of my mom, our walk, my brother and story of my grandfather.
He told me I could swing on the swing any time I wanted!
: )My plan is to go back with my mom....a fun photo op for sure!