It’s a rather long word that sounds special. And it is. The best
definition I’ve found makes me smile: “the act of finding something
valuable or delightful when you are not looking for it”
I recently experienced
serendipity, and the results of that moment now give me much pleasure.
A couple of months ago a friend
of mine and I had lunch together in one of our favorite local
restaurants. We talked about our writing projects, our pets, our homes,
the weather—all those things that people share over lunch. She had
recently lost her job, and we talked a little about that too.
At one point she said, “Now that
I’m not working, I’m going to the Georgia coast to spend some time in
our house down there.”
She went on to explain that she
and her husband had bought the house before getting transferred to
Arkansas, and how difficult it has been for them to find time to go
“I think the house really needs
to be lived in for a while. Of course, I’ll be there all by myself for
at least month,” she sighed, “and I don’t like being alone for that
length of time.”
“Then take me with you!” I
blurted in the heat of excitement. I never really expected her quick
She blinked as though surprised,
then said with a big smile, “Okay!”
We talked it over with our
respective spouses, and lucky for us, those two wonderful men supported
our idea. They understand how important it is for us to concentrate on
our writing projects, and that a trip away from the daily distractions
and responsibilities of home would help us immensely.
I am writing this article from
my friend’s house. Surrounded by gorgeous old oak trees dripping with
Spanish moss, it sits in an older neighborhood on a very quiet street,
near a lovely natural park. We have no television here, and no
telephone except for the cell phones we brought with us. The room in
which we write has many floor-to-ceiling windows, some of them
overlooking a saltwater pond. (How lovely to watch cranes and pelicans
come and go there!) Trips to the beach, ten minutes away, take us to a
place for long walks on white sand with hardly anyone else around.
My literary agency is nearby,
and for the first time I met my agent face-to-face. Greeting her was
like meeting a familiar old friend because we’ve worked so closely
together online and over the telephone. The president of the agency
threw a dinner party, and my friend had the opportunity to meet these
marvelous people who work so hard to help us writers share our gifts
with the rest of the world.
A writer could hardly ask for
anything better than a quiet house in a gorgeous setting with a good
friend of similar mind and goals. We’ve been here for two weeks and
will remain, God willing, three more weeks.
What if my friend and I had not
met that day for lunch? What if I had not blurted out, “Take me with
you!”? Serendipity. The right place at the right time. Good luck. A
blessing. Whatever you wish to call it, there is no denying that God’s
grace surrounds us daily, and it’s up to us to recognize opportunity
when it presents itself, and then, of course, to act on it.