I live with this word, serendipity.  I love its sound, I love the way it looks on a page.  I love its meaning, the world of possibilities it carries with it.  I love its fleeting and almost shy nature.  I love that its existence relies on each individual’s ability to be open to it.  I find it in my life almost daily.

In seeking to improve my writing, to ignite inspiration, to stretch the muscle of my imagination and expression, I have turned tonight to a rather lovely link on WordPress: The Daily Post Prompt.  Here, a writer at a loss for words can find a spark to ignite that trail of gunpowder and hopefully fizz it to life speeding to an explosion of “voice”

Today, the prompt suggested I type a random word into Google images, and pick the eleventh image as a prompt for my writing.  I admit my word was not random.  As I said at the beginning, I have an affinity with this word, serendipity, which cannot be denied and this request for a word allowed my word to rise again.  Serendipity…

And so, this is the eleventh picture thrown out by google images when my word is offered.

I love the peace that this image evokes.  Although serendipity can come with a variety of emotions attached to it, from effervescent excitement, to quiet contemplation, I always sense peace in it.  So I love this image… the possibility of a new day, or the end of a day full of new discoveries; the horizon which promises unimagined new lands, or unexpected familiarities; the colours…

The verse is more controversial, but there is much in it that I love.

I need to say at the start that I do not like the implication in the verse that Divine Presence is the fundamental.  But I’m willing to let that be just now!!  I need and want to revel in the wonder and magic of serendipity.

Our hearts have been understood…

Nothing is as real as a healthy dose of magic which restores our spirits…

Deep satisfaction and peace have very few words to offer and are surprisingly difficult to express on a page…

In learning a little more about this lovely word, I discovered that it is a remarkably recent word, and one which can be traced back to its origin.  How lovely!  Most words I know of have roots from ancient languages… I’ve always enjoyed the etymology of words, but I find it refreshing and beautifully fitting that “serendipity” should be a word created by an Englishman in the mid 1700s.

Horace Walpole, a politician with the Whig party and also an art historian and something of a writer created this word based on a Persian fairy tale.  In this story, The Three Princes of Serendip, these three young men face adventures which they solve thanks to their education, wisdom and a good dose of luck.  “Happy accidents”… “Serendipity”.  What I love is that without the wisdom (or sagacity – another lovely word) to notice these accidents, happy endings would be far fewer.

Serendip, it seems, is simply the old Arabic name for Sri Lanka.  And so we find a rather mundane, earthy root to a word plucked from the imagination of a storyteller and the audacity of an Englishman hundred of years later.  I have the vision of a beautiful, ephemeral thread growing from the land and floating into the sky and clouds.

Serendipity is in all things small and hardly noticeable; in the Facebook post from a friend across the Atlantic ocean talking with beautiful simplicity about just the emotion I am wrestling with; in the happy accident of finding a missed friend at the swimming pool when neither of us had planned to be there.

Serendipity is also in the vast and wondrous things of life; in finding myself living with the man I met on first starting university and living thus in rather perfect synchronicity; in finding the right school for my Sweet Girl almost on our doorstep (hard work and tenacity now take over to ensure she can benefit from their knowledge and compassion); in so many patterns that we notice and attach meaning to.

Serendipity is a human construct.  It is entirely reliant on our desire to see patterns, to assign meaning to events which in the most part are completely unrelated.

Serendipity is… magic.

Serendipity leaves me glowing with that magic, the wonder of life, of our ability as humans to make and create patterns that link all these strange concurrent events, and it leaves me with a great sense of peace.

So I will leave you with my happy accident of choosing to click on the Daily Post Prompt and finding myself writing about serendipity.  But I will also ask you:  what happy accident happened to you today?  Where did you encounter serendipity?  Did it pass you by?  Did you savour it?  Will you share it with me?…


4 thoughts on “Serendipity

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