Friday, July 30, 2010


Flickr photo by mikebaird, creative commons
Tanner barked at his leash, begging for a walk. We all needed the exercise and Sam was willing, but did we really have to go outside? It was10:30 AM and already 92 degrees. "Only if we go to the river," I said. The thick canopy of trees and the gurgling of water would make it bearable.

As we walked the shady path, I thought of my French friend Corinne. Before she moved back to Paris, we'd take our dogs down to the river once a week, and Tanner still looks for Valentin every time we pass her house. I laughed to myself to think of our search for the Big Bird. What was the French word for heron? When I described it, she said it sounded like a dinosaur. "Oh, believe me, it's real," I said. "I've seen them plenty of times down here." But with the noise of the dogs and our busy conversation, we never saw a single one together.
In the year since her move, I'd spied a heron only once, and that had been several months ago. Had they left our river?

Tanner was ecstatic to sniff the path, yanking Sam from one side to the other as we tried to talk.
I wanted to hear what Sam thought about my blogging topic for today: Serendipity, the phenomenon of discovering completely surprising while searching for something else. Like when Christopher Columbus was looking for India and ended up discovering the Americas. Or when Todd and his Mom were taking a walk through our neighborhood and got to talking about his childhood friend, Luke Smith. Whatever happened to him? And then the very next day, Todd took another walk, and who should step out of his house a mere half mile from our home? Luke Smith! I wanted to know what Sam thought. Was it God? Or just a wild coincidence?

The walk was fun, but finally the heat was too much and we headed back.
"Wait," Sam said before we left the river. He took the stick he'd been carrying around and threw it high. It made a great splash. "Look Mama!" he said.
I turned to look at the water and gasped. There was a great blue heron, spreading its wings, launching itself into the sky just above the splashing stick in the river!
It was there all the time, resting in the quiet, on the opposite bank. If Sam hadn't thrown the stick and made the splash at exactly that time and place, we wouldn't have seen it!
Thank you, Sam! Thank you, God!

Have you experienced serendipity in your life? I'd love to hear your story!
Do you think it's luck or something bigger?

Praise the LORD.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the saints.

Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King.

Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with tambourine and harp.

For the LORD takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with salvation.

Psalm 149: 1-4


Laura said...

Did you know the word serendipity comes from a fairy tale? There's a post about it on my Just for Mom page.

I love serendipity...

Susie said...

I think all serendipitous events are meaningful. They partly seem to tell me that the things I think influence what I end up seeing (and reminds me that it is really important to choose what you focus on!) and it also makes me feel comforted that the world has some rhythm to it that I don't understand, but that I can tune into and be part of from time to time.

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

Becky, the "boys" and I walk down by the lake every morning. We've had to leave the house earlier each week because of the heat. I laughed to my husband a week or so ago when the LOW for the day would be 82!
Great post!

Jenny said...

Serendipity is such a pretty word, with such a charmed meaning and a good movie too. It was my hubby's and I first movie together...I know tres romantique! Actually though from your story I know exactly what you mean and being the Daddy's girl that I am I attribute these "charmed moments" to the God who goes before us in all things and knows us so intimately. There was a run of a couple of years in college (a big campus) when I would walk and pray for a certain long unseen friend and voila, that day or the next we would cross paths. My biggest moment was a year when I was losing my graduating roomie and was toiling a bit on who I could room with (most my friends were graduating) and in that some moment I finished that prayer as I strolled across campus, a newish friend bounded up to me and said she was glad to see me because she wondered if I knew someone who needed a roommate (Praise God she was my roomie for the next two years)! Those moments were all Him and would bring tears to my eyes in their blessing. Have a great weekend Rebecca....keep cool.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hey y'all.
Thanks Laura! I'm going to hop over to read the post. Cool.

Well said Susie. I want to try to tune into the rhythm more. I think it comes with really being present where you are.

Katt, it's great to meet you. Yep, I'm so looking forward to crisp fall days. The sun is nice, but I'm getting a little tired of feeling wilted. :)

Jenny, I love your story. That has happened to me too! I think it has a lot to do with thinking about something we hope for & then keeping our eyes open! That heron could have appeared without me even noticing--I was glad for the splash!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh what a moment for you!

Brian Miller said...

smiles. love it when life comes together like that...thanks for the warm comment over at jumping tandem. and have a marvelous weekend.

vintage moon studio said...

I love those "unpredictable" moments... like life is handing you a little present! Hope you are enjoying your summer days... Deb

Jan said...

Oh, to see a big blue heron! Thanks for visiting my blog; it was nice to feel your compassion for the humidity!

river song said...

thanks for visiting my blog and yes, I love the word serendipity and I adore serendipitous events. Where would we be without them?!

Kelly H-Y said...

So awesome ... that gave me goosebumps!

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Dawn said...

I love serendipitous moments--those little presents from God! That was a wonderful post! And thanks for our sweet comment on my blog!

sarah said...

this picture takes my breath away. I love blueherons and God has used them many times to speak to my heart..

faith hope cherrytea said...

i love how God intentionally initiates the desires of our heart ~ then choreographs our steps in order to fulfill those desires...
my very first blog post at faith hope and cherrytea relates one such recent experience i think you'll enjoy!
i appreciated your comment on my friday five response
thank you! and wishing you a refreshing cool breeze from heaven somewhere today...