“Prayer is talking to something or anything with which we seek union, even if we are bitter or insane or broken… Prayer is taking a chance that against all odds and past history, we are loved and chosen, and do not have to get it together before we show up. The opposite may be true: We may not be able to get it together until after we show up in such miserable shape.” — Anne Lamott, “Help Thanks Wow — The Three Essential Prayers”
It’s 5 a.m. and there’s a weather forecast of temps in the lowest of single digits and certain ice and snow conditions. I have two events to cover and a doctor’s approval for new, reliable meds bringing much-needed peace and quietude for my husband. And I am a happy, blessed woman.
I believe in the power of Serendipity — that events and people come our way when we most need to hear their message. That includes strangers sitting next to us at Happy Hour at our favorite pub, or one of our favorite writers, seemingly speaking directly to us in one of her books. Sometimes the message is one of harsh reality, and that’s good too, to be shaken out of certainty and stubbornly held beliefs. I always tell family and friends they should “shake it up” and now I’m being challenged to do that myself.
I was recently contacted by the new CEO of the last company I worked for in South Florida, a global conglomerate based at Miami International Airport. I had a wonderfully diverse position there — Office and Travel Manager, Project Manager, Publicist and Event-Planner, even unofficial union liaison. Since no one else wanted to take on those responsibilities, by default I was fast-tracking to become the fifth Vice President in the company, but I moved to Connecticut before that could happen.
One of the largest events I stage-managed was a week-long celebration for the company’s 50th anniversary. The Board of Directors came from Sweden to spend time golfing and being entertained at chic hotels and restaurants. There was a daylong fête for employees and their families with airplane tours, helicopter rides, clowns, magicians, live music, fabulous food stations, games and balloons, and an evening dinner featuring a renowned physic for entertainment. He first zeroed in on one of the Swedish board members, bringing the man to tears when he described, and named, his first beloved pet, long since gone. That surprised me because I was well acquainted with the powers and talents of those that could easily access the past and future.
The new CEO was inquiring if I had any photos of those anniversary celebrations since they were planning the 70th. I always believed that was the most challenging, most fun and fulfilling job of my career. It also paid quite well and had many perks, although commuting on the Palmetto Parkway was a daily nightmare. Then I moved to Litchfield and discovered a small forest filled with deer, raccoons, and foxes behind my house, the trails of White Memorial and the Audubon Sanctuary, as well as the inspiring concept of pro bono work for three nonprofits. In other words, Something Completely Different and very rewarding.
And then life unraveled as I began to lose things — my peace, my patience, and my husband. We are all facing challenges, we are all broken and forlorn at times (I’m putting on my boxing gloves every day) and then miraculously we are restored, even if we didn’t ask for help. I loved feeding the birds in my backyard at my home and now watch them at feeders from my apartment windows. It’s an integral part of what I need here to find the joy in all seasons and all challenges. I know it will come. Serendipity always does.