The Fine Line between Coincidence and Serendipity

The year my girlfriends and I were turning 40, we took a long weekend to Anna Maria Island in Florida. Before the trip, my friend asked me to bring her a book that she could read; I quickly tucked a coming-of-age type story into my travel bag and handed it over at the airport. Flight went well, we landed and headed to the cottage, courtesy of our driver, Ernie. At some point before the end of the evening, Kim realized she had left her book on the plane.

The next day, we headed over to one of the piers of the island and stopped at a couple of little shops along the way. One of the stores had a small bookshelf out on their front stoop with a sign that stated “Take a book, or leave one; FREE;”  and lo and behold, sitting on the top of the pile was a dog-eared copy of the same book that Kim had accidentally forgotten on the plane.

I like to think that there is a fine line between coincidence and serendipity. Sometimes what appears like a coincidence; a set of circumstances that appear to have no causal connection is tempered by a feeling; one serendipitous in nature, an element of which is hard to define. What often seems to be a stroke of bad luck, ends up to have a different meaning. Perhaps whoever found the book on the plane needed to read it; perhaps they passed it along to someone who found personal meaning in its story. Either way, it moved beyond coincidence and into the realm of the mysterious workings of the universe.

Serendipitous moments are a part of our comfort system; they feed the soul. We can chalk it up to coincidence or we can lean into the feeling that  there was something deeper in the experience, though perhaps left unexplained. By the end of the flight home, Kim had finished the book and  handed it back to me; albeit a different copy. I put it back in her hands and stated “Pass it along, this story is on its own journey.” 🙂

Photo credit:http://Photo by Link Hoang on Unsplash

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7 thoughts on “The Fine Line between Coincidence and Serendipity”

    • Hi Brian, and thank you for your comment! The fine line between coincidence and serendipity is where we sometimes find the reason 🙂

  1. Also on vacation years ago in Jamaica, a friend told me how much the book “Change One Thing” was affecting him. I asked where he got it, he said that I had brought it. I had no recollection of this, he sad it was in a stack of books in their room. He went and got it, my name was written on the inside cover as is my practice. I don’t make a practice of bringing “work books” on vacation. The book needed to be read I guess. I too said to keep it, and it go to where it was needed.

  2. There is lots of serendipity everywhere.. it is one of life’s joyful experiences.. and I do believe there is always more
    to it than a randomness.. :).. thanks for the story…


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