The Secret Heart of Serendipity


I made a delightful discovery today.

While walking down the sideway of our apartment building, I spied a bromeliad with what appeared to be a bloom within a bloom, one I don’t recall having seen flower before. It reminded me of the power of serendipity to change my day, change the way I perceive things.

I’ve been planting this side garden of varigated pearl gingers with an understory of bromeliads given by family and friends when they were dividing their own. The project has been a huge success, beautifying the sideway garden with plants flourishing in a position they obviously like.

As I crouched down to examine, then photograph the tiny flower emerging from within the plant’s bright pink throat, I thought how easily I might have missed it. But that’s what serendipity is isn’t it? Being in the right place at the right time to experience something fortuitous. Or is it something more? Something less random?

Now as I ponder the notion of serendipity, I can see how individual and personalised it can be. Had I not made a conscious choice to be aware of my natural surroundings, to experience them with intentional wonder and gratitude, I might have missed out. Just as I must have missed out in the past when I’ve been less mindful. Those times of overwhelm I’ve encountered because of disturbing events in the news or due to personal stressors.

In the same way I’ve nurtured the bromeliads, I want to consciously nurture more opportunities for serendipitous experiences. I’m going to open myself to, and expect fortuitous possibilities, and recognise them when they present. A serendipitous encounter is like breathing a long sigh after holding one’s breath for too long.

Sometimes serendipity is just intention unmasked.

Elizabeth Berg, The Year of Pleasures

To all my friends in the USA, I am thinking of you today and in the long days ahead.

23 responses to “The Secret Heart of Serendipity

  1. Thank you, Robin, for your serendipity thoughts and word images, something I’ve been working on this week. We’re still waiting for all the votes to be counted and tabulated up here, keeping calmly busy as though on an ordinary day in fall. Biden keeps exhibiting his own sense of serendipity via news outlets and Facebook while the other side . . . well, never mind. Now, I am intentionally breathing a long sigh after holding my own breath too long during this contentious Pandemic year. This, too, shall pass!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jo, take comfort in your beautiful garden and your research. Keeping calmly busy is good advice for us all. When I find myself dwelling too long on the negatives I will remember your advice. We are heading into summer here and the weather is getting hotter. Restrictions are being relaxed and we are grateful for a return to normal, albeit a ‘new normal’. My garden provides much joy and solace. I wish the same for you, especially in the coming weeks. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a beautiful post, Robyn! ❤ Our experiences in the world are colored every day by the things we happen to focus on, and that can help us get through the troubling periods. It's certainly kept me sane, while managing all the stress of living in the US! 🙂 It is always a pleasure reading your posts! Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jude, how kind of you to enquire. I have felt so despondent, with the state of our world , like so many others. So disappointed in our government’s handling of the current crisis and the larger climate emergency. I have not been writing posts as a consequence. But I’m grateful to be well despite regular lockdowns. I have some family close by so not entirely on my own.
      I wonder how you’re coping? What your situation is? I hope you’re as well as you can be. Kind regards,

      Liked by 1 person

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