Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Friday Ramble - Serendipity

The word this week is serendipity, and given the way it rolls trippingly off the tongue, one might think that the word has been around for centuries. Not so, for serendipity was coined by the eighteenth century British author, Horace Walpole, and has its roots in Serendip or Serendib), an old name for Sri Lanka.

Walpole's delightful creation was a nod to an obscure Persian fairytale called, "The Three Princes of Serendip". The three royal brothers of that fabulous tale had undertaken a quest, and as they traveled along, they kept encountering (unexpectedly) wonderful things in unlikely places. By happenstance (another one of my favorite words) and through sagacity, they made discovery after discovery which was ostensibly irrelevant, but which turned out to be meaningful and very useful in the greater scheme of things. So there we have it in a nutshell - serendipity means making happy or fortunate discoveries by chance or accident.

Serendipity is my sweet new canine companion Spenser appearing at the door of the little blue house unexpectedly and urgently needing a mom. Last evening, serendipity was the radiant visitation of a single Virescent Green Metallic Bee to the generous gold and purple of the first Michaelmas Daisies in the garden. If I had hung around in the garden for weeks with my camera hoping for such a composition, I would have waited in vain. As things turned out, I wasn't looking for it, and there it was. Serendipity was going out into the garden with Spenser before dawn this morning and watching Orion climb above the southern horizon with his jeweled belt twinkling.

Call it serendipity or happenstance, we could all use more of it, but we need to be receptive - we need to be open to the magic, wonder and infinite potential of life in order to receive. When we cultivate clarity and the kind of careful attention needed to embrace the serendipitous in life, we feel a little more connected and a whole lot more alive.


Anonymous said...

Serendipity is one of my very favorite words. I love your post about it!

I smiled when I saw the picture of Spencer the other day, the universe has its own special way of smiling upon us when we are in need.

IndigoSunMoon said...

I loved this entry, and I absolutely LOVE that photo! You are absolutely right! If you had gone out there and waited you would have waited forever, but just when you least expected it...there it was, right in front of you! Wonderful!

Loren said...

Love that photo.

I've found that I don't do well when going out to get a particular shot.

I try to open myself to what is there, and hope for the best.

I'm not sure if means better shots or not, but I end up a lot happier by not disappointing myself.

Anonymous said...

Your observations are a joy to me and I sometimes copy them for my own journal - as easy to find records. Somehow at the moment your words unlock my own mind. Thank you!

Lil said...

i am open cate, clearly you are as well!

Sky said...

what a photograph!

so, is it "spenser" or "spencer?" i notice you spell it both ways.

when the gifts of the universe unfold life feels truly magical. there is nothing quite like it.

Livia Indica said...

What a gorgeous photo. I don't think we have bees like that around my neck of the woods. I thought it was photoshopped at first. Beautiful.