Serendipity (n.) : discovering something good, valuable, or pleasant without looking for it. (Webster’s Dictionary)
Last week was one of those which opened with sunshine and beach-like temperatures, but by Thursday, temperatures plummeted forty degrees and rain came in torrents along with a tornado. By Friday, rain mixed with hail at the top of every hour. The plans my family had made for the weekend–camping–didn’t pan out.
And yet, I can say this past weekend was one of the best I can remember. Why?
On Friday night, a bunch of friends came by the house and ended up staying for hours. It was mostly impromptu, a time filled with raucous laughter. I woke up the next day, my sides still splitting and sore from laughing so hard.
By Saturday night, after a day full of oil painting, chores, and running boys to and fro, we thought it might sound fun to try and do something different, something on our family bucket list on Sunday. The weather was clearing and the Indy 500 Time Trials ran on Sunday. Should we try to make it? we asked the boys at dinner. After a little arm-twisting and promises for time to do homework in the car, they agreed.
Indy 500 Time Trials
My backstory with the Indy 500
18 years ago, I worked as an intern for General Motors / Delco Electronics in technical sales and marketing and spent the month of May at the Indy 500 track for them. I helped with the displays, talking with spectators, and hosting corporate guests for the activities surrounding the race. The sound and rush of the race cars as they fly around the track digs under your skin when you’re there. It’s an unexplainable feeling, but it was a thrill to get to go with my husband and 3 sons all these years later.
The Sound (that thrills me): 4 second clip of an Indy car
An NBA Game:
While we were at the Indy 500 track, watching the races for the pole position, my oldest son mentioned he thought game 1 in the Eastern conference finals for the NBA was that day in Indy. Thanks to the affordability of Pacers tickets and the accessibility of modern technology, we soon had tickets for the game, the Indianapolis Pacers versus the Miami Heat.
My boys are 15 1/2, 13, and 11 1/2, and all love basketball. They’re athletes and are growing faster than I can feed them, so a Pacers / Heat game live and in person is like winning the lottery, no matter how high up in the rafters our tickets were. It was amazing.
After watching the Pacers beat the Heat, driving the hours home with the setting sun at our backs, we all had to shake our heads in amazement and gratitude with how it all came together. Divine, joy-filled; a gift.
This is the Beauty of Serendipity.
We didn’t deserve any of it; we simply showed up, held things loosely, and watched as the moments unfurled. It was a wow. I’m still in awe, grateful beyond words.
I couldn’t help writing about it this week, because I believe serendipity is one of the greatest gifts in life. It’s a coming together of things out of our control, a time and place outside of a planner or schedule, a collision of love and beauty in the most unusual of circumstance. It is catching the joy as it flies.
Now, as I sit back and watch as the calendar spills into summer, I’m trying to remind myself of the importance of open space on those fleeting days to come, time to allow for the possibility of serendipity.
All too soon, my boys will be grown and on their own. I need and want to embrace serendipity for the smallest moments, for that is where the beauty in life lies.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia
Serendipity (n.): catching the joy as it flies.
I’d love to hear your definition of serendipity … do you have one?