“Synchronicity: A meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved.” ~ Carl Jung
A Facebook friend recently posted about a “co-incidental” happening the other day … a hat, a man, a long and meaning conversation that never would have happened, had she not quickly grabbed that particular cap on her way out of the house. As I laid awake that night, just hours after a telephone deposition, mind swimming once again through the difficult and detailed reiteration of events from two years ago … a forgotten memory of the moments leading up to my being on that fateful bus moved forward in my mind. You see, that bus – the one that played such a devastating part in that day’s tragedy and basically catapulted me into this journey – was not the bus I usually rode. I, for all intents and purposes, should not have been on it…
A chilly dawn inched over the edges of the horizon that snowy January morning, as I drove the familiar route to the park-and-ride. I always enjoyed the half-hour trip … it was a quiet time before the busy demands and rambunctiousness of the day, and per my normal routine, I casually sipped fresh coffee from an old Starbucks mug. As I deliberately wound my way through the narrow streets of Ithaca something caught my attention, moving off to my left, and unsure if my eyes were playing a trick on me, I slowed to a stop. Adjusting my vision to the dim early light, I realized that standing between two parked cars – and no more than 5′ from my car door – was one of the most impressive and beautiful does I’d ever seen. I cautiously rolled down the window, fearing I’d frighten her off … but she just stood there. Not a muscle or twitch of her brow belied her sense of ease, and our eyes met. Though only a handful of seconds – less than a minute’s worth – we stared at each other for what felt like an eternity, until something deep inside compelled me … and I asked aloud, “What? What is it?” She said nothing. Yes, I know .. but, silly as it may seem, I asked again. There was a message, that I knew: Somehow, someway … she was there for me, and for a reason. A flicker suddenly danced in my rearview mirror – another car making it’s way up the road – and I softly said, “I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go….” I rolled up the window and continued on my way, something still niggling inside, wondering what had just happened.
A few minutes later as I turned into the parking lot, I watched a bus … my bus … the same one I’d caught every workday for three years … pull away from the curb and make its turn around the corner. I’d missed it by just seconds. Flashing my lights I hoped he would stop, but it was no use. He continued on toward the University, and I would have to wait to catch the next one … a bus that was about to change so many lives forever.
Few days go by that I don’t think about, or wonder where my life would be if I had not stopped for those brief moments that morning. So very much has changed … so much of the “who I am” has changed … in these last 22 months because of those few seconds. I have seen incredible things and met incredible people; I have journeyed more miles in the two years than I had in all of the 60 before; I have learned, I have grown, I have deepened and expanded. My spirit has traveled to and touched the veil of time, and it has sat silent in the desert with the shadows of those long past; my eyes have witnessed a kaleidoscope of colors with every step and every sound; my heart has been filled to overflowing with joy, and it has been broken into bottomless hollows. My physical, financial, emotional and psychological reserves have been burned through, and I’ve been exhausted in more ways than I knew possible. And yet in the profound paradox of all that is, in that one moment that began it all, my life was gifted with riches beyond any measure of exhaustion or pain.
A momentary stop. A :30 second conversation with an out-of-place deer at dawn. A synchronistic series of events. Life. Death. And all the wonderfully amazing moments in between.