On an early Tuesday morning the stairs creak in protest as I race down to the kitchen, mildly burning my hand as I hastily swipe an un-smeared bagel from the toaster and fly out the door. The sun has yet to greet the dewy car windshield as I pull out of the driveway, narrowly avoiding the recycling bins littering the curb. At a light I contemplate how I’d let the morning chill deter me from leaving the cozy embrace of my bed covers. With the thermometer just barely pushing sixty-eight this Floridian was ready for a parka and mittens, yet had only managed to steal a light cardigan off a hanger in my hasty exit. Drive through coffee being my only salvation at this point, I scrape together quarters from the depths of the center console; just enough for a seasonal hot beverage. Somewhere in the stress of the small, tall, non-fat, grande, “Would you like whip cream on that?” confusion, the collegiate employee forgets to hand me any napkins. So naturally, I spill the scalding liquid all over my mother’s leather seats as I speed towards the southbound highway ramp. Frustrated and still quite frostbitten by the morning air, (and now also in lack of the warmth currently staining the seat cushions) I reach into the glove compartment in search of an ancient paper towel or two. What I find however, tangled up among fast food straws and crumpled papers, changes the complexion of my entire morning experience. My favorite scarf, worn and woolly, yet still cozy enough to fight off a brisk breeze, cast a new light on the cluttered stretch of I-95 I traveled. I found the majority of the warmth came not from the scarf itself, but from the subtle scent of an old perfume that brought back memories of winters past. It’s a time like this that I believe in serendipity. A fortunate accident. The unintentional discovery of something that somehow brings good fortune. Circumstance, happenstance, quite possibly the simple everyday interaction with fate. I believe, at least personally, that these moments exist to keep us alive and not just merely living. They’re simple, minute, and often overlooked if not properly acknowledged and appreciated. Yet I truly feel as though these moments of serendipity are the little reminders of why we put up with the morning gridlock and the spilled coffees. It’s the bumping into an old friend on their birthday; it’s having just enough change for the parking meter once you’ve picked up that quarter beside the curb; it’s the meeting of a stranger again and again in the grocery store check out line until you just have to stop for a conversation on the rising price of milk that somehow leads into ice cream and politics at the other end of the shopping plaza. It’s the pleasurable coincidences of everyday life that I believe in, for it is these moments that bring out the simple hidden beauty in our ever-connected world.
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