Sunday, April 16, 2017
The Way of Serendipity
I hope you had a lovely easter or passover. Whichever holiday you celebrated or didn't I hope the week brought you joy.
This week I sent back a book to the library. This was the first book I had to use interlibrary loan to obtain. It is quite a rare find. I have been tracking serendipity of late. Often when I am contemplating a particular topic information appears where least expected. In this case I went to the dictionary. I was fairly certain I knew what the word meant, but you'd be surprised how many words we use that started out with a different meaning. Words like people can change. Well I was quite shocked to find that the origin of this word started with a Persian fairy tale. The title of which is in the picture above.
Serendipity is finding something helpful or valuable you weren't actively searching for, and indeed the Princes of Serendip were continually finding something while on a completely different errand. To use video game lingo, they were the masters of side questing. Their island was beset by dragons that attacked ships and their father sent them forth into the world to find a way to defeat these dragons. On the way they rescued a lost princess, kept a king from being poisoned by a vassal, retrieved a magic mirror, and delivered a nation from an evil hand (yep totally malevolent that hand). It should be noted that during this they were tracking down a wizard with the formula for the death of dragons. The princes considered themselves great failures because they always just seemed to miss him. As the story plays out though it was through these acts of service that their main quest was fulfilled, in a way that couldn't have happened if they had attempted it. So they found what they were looking for because they didn't truly know what it was they were looking for.
I have mentioned before that I've been getting signs through dreams. Indeed last fall my dreams of a phoenix over the course of a week led me to co-create a very special midwinter drumming ceremony. I was completely surprised to learn that a phoenix plays a major part in the story of the three princes. Once again it was if the universe ran in and pinched me on the bottom and then ran out of the room while laughing hysterically. When these pieces keep showing up, I think it means I'm on the right path.
So why am I telling you this? There is an undercurrent in our life, beneath the chatter of our minds and plans. If we are flexible and curious that current can take us to unexpected places, somewhere we could never find if we were to consciously seek it out. Some people seem to head right for their goals, my road always meanders. The Princes of Serendip accomplished their goal because despite being on a crucial mission they were always available to do service for others. Here too is a lesson. It can be easy to become wrapped up in our errands and lives so that we don't offer of ourselves where we can make a pivotal difference in the lives of those around us. As you go through this week try loosening your grip on your plans and perhaps just see what else develops. We all have missions, but sometimes the best means to accomplish them is by taking the long way round.
Peace and Blessings,