Monday, July 29, 2013

When Stars Align

My husband and I were introduced by a mutual acquaintance in 1996.  She flew in from Yakima, Washington state from our wedding, and that was the last time we saw her before her husband's job took their family to Germany and then Australia. 

This weekend, we were picking up our kids from a sleepover (yay) with my in-laws in western Maryland. My father-in-law wanted to have dinner at a local pizzeria, but my daughter voted instead for Ruby Tuesday.  While there, my husband escorted my son to the restroom, and lo and behold... at a nearby table he found our matchmaker and family.  They had just returned stateside and were living in a hotel in Virginia.  They had driven to Ohio to buy furniture and had planned to stop in a different town on the way home but had missed the exit, and so... in a city that was neither theirs nor ours, in a restaurant where none of us had planned to be that night, our fates collided once more.  It was with great pleasure that we were finally able to introduce our children to the woman responsible for their very existence.  Ah, serendipity.

As a reader, I am most impatient about plot contrivances and coincidences.  But the truth is, these are also a part of real life.

This week I have been reading the prolific Debbie Macomber's Once Upon a Time, which details her blueprint for both living life and writing about it. In the book, she mentions her hometown of Yakima, Washington and her childhood librarian, Miss Bunn.  As a Beverly Cleary devotee, I know that Mrs. Clearly (formerly Miss Bunn) was once a children's librarian in Yakima.   Could it possibly be?  I turned to google, and sure enough -- uber-famous (and admittedly poor student) Beverly Cleary had, once upon a time, been the beloved librarian of uber-famous (and admittedly poor student) Debbie Macomber.

As teachers, librarians, and writers, these are the stories that we live for.  Often the rewards of our vocation are intangible and far in the future.  In the results-oriented world in which we live, it is important to remember that, ultimately, patience reigns triumphant.  Thank goodness for the occasional grace of serendipity to let us know we are indeed on the right track.  --Jeanne Marie

1 comment:

Carmela Martino said...

Wow, I love these stories of Serendipity, JM. Thanks so much for sharing them with us!