Serendipity as a Metaphor

June 4, 2011

What I love about serendipity is how quickly the universe can support and instruct us when we trust that the events of our lives carry meaning and each moment of synchronicity or serendipity is potentially a signpost. For example last night I broke a wine glass. Well I didn’t just break it; the lightest touch of my index finger created a chain reaction that precipitated the empty glass from the tray, I had just set on the kitchen counter, to the floor shattering into numerous fragments. My initial reaction was shock followed by exasperation then curiosity. I have not broken a wineglass in an eon; the brush of my finger had been so feather-like that I cannot comprehend how it toppled the glass yet the evidence was right in front of me. Surely the sign of a meaningful event.

In moments like this I draw a breath and see what comes to me. Immediately the words I Ching, a Chinese divination tool that I use, sat like a balloon bubble ove my head. I resolved that first thing the following day I would throw the coins for a reading. Of course overnight I completely forgot so the next morning while bending to plug in my iPod, I banged my head on a plant holder. Certainly not a major catastrophe but it gave me pause for thought as I perform this action every day and have never banged my head before. A breath, the first thought was to get rid of the plant holder that has hung there for years without a plant in sight. (The previous incumbent had died a slow painful death.) Then “I Ching” – ah of course a quiet reminder – what better than a gentle tap on the side of the head.

I throw the coins and record the pattern: two tails and head, one head and two tails, the same again, then two tails and head twice and finally three heads. Each head carries a score of three and a tail two. Once transposed numerically the reading is 7,8,8,7,7,9. In the reading of the I Ching it creates hexagram number 25 – Disentangling – about extricating myself from a situation “there is nothing you can do for now, the time is wrong, leave things alone.” I don’t have to think about it, I know immediately what it means. I had just been reflecting on a conversation with a dear friend who I have been trying to “help”. I can see that my support is too connected with what I think she should do; during our conversation I had noticed myself becoming quite directive and insistent on a course of direction; even this morning I had been contemplating a follow-up e-mail. It is time to let go. Suddenly the metaphor of the wine glass seems totally and magically symbolic as I recall a beautiful poem by Hafiz that ends:

“Any thought that you are better or less

Than another man

Quickly breaks the wine glass.”

I LOVE it! I recall a quote by Julia Cameron in her book Blessings, “Synchronicity, coincidence, reinforcement, and serendipity – these are friendly companions that speak to me clearly of higher realms.” Certainly the truth of my life.