ser·en·dip·i·ty serənˈdipitē/ noun
the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. “a fortunate stroke of serendipity”
One of spring’s sure signs is this one:
The beauty of garage sales … one person’s junk is another’s treasure.
This past Saturday of the long weekend I thought it would be fun to drive into the country for the five miles north of town sale … I breathe deep as a hawk soars overhead, the Rocky Mountains look hazy in the west. The sunshine most welcome after being hidden for days.
“If we can fold this lounge chair back in the bag, I’ll take it” … I can envision myself at Two Jack Lake, book in hand, feet up.
The owner shows me the collapse trick while he tells me that he and his wife are moving to BC. He sells a young man a hammer and crowbar for $3. Throw in a $2 camp pot for me and everyone’s got a great deal.
Back in town, neighbourly kibitzing happens as three houses make this a multi-family garage sale.
At door number three, a young lady re-aquaints with the house-owner.
“Are you still at the school?” Turns out she had been the well known, long term school secretary-now would probably be called the office manager. (I am reminded of a slighter version of the iconic Ms Janzen from my high school era)
“Oh no, I retired about five years ago” I didn’t want to interrupt the conversation, but I was curious as to what I was looking at. Either a large dog bed, kids mat?
Oversized pillow shams, in a brown faux suede that had come with a bedspread she bought. Couldn’t haggle with a one dollar price, I could use them as a throw in my car for an impromptu sit along the river …
I took one, and the other bargain hunter snatched the remaining two.
Then she spotted the real treasure.
“Are you still painting?”
“Not so much.”
“I’ll take that, it’s beautiful. It’s like I have a Mrs Kelly original.”
“Oh, just hang it in your furnace room” Mrs Kelly says.
“Oh NO” … she pauses … “You see my mom died recently and she always loved flowers, this painting makes me think of her.” The painting was a bouquet of hydrangea flowers, in shades of pink. Mrs Kelly gets teary eyed. I feel a part of this moment, and add “That’s so nice, in a sense it’s like the sympathy flowers … I think she should sign it.” By now I discover that it is Peggy and Kari, I am talking to. Kari felt so fortunate to have found Mrs Kelly and the painting. They have a hug, and I think I’d like a hug too … and they comply. What a beautiful moment. I tell them I will mention them in my blog … Kari wants to know what the blog is about, I say it is about grieving. After unloading at my car, I return to see if I could get a picture of the painting .. and Kari was gone … “Only for a moment and the moment’s gone.”
My vehicle is full enough and it’s time to head home…
Aah, the joy of serendipitous moments. I hope my eyes can stay open to them.
(Note the painting inserted is another serendipitous moment/story, the artist is Tyrell Clark)