I met my friend Jess today for lunch. We ate potatoes she had baked in her office microwave, complete with sour cream, cheddar cheese, broccoli and black eyed peas. It wasn’t your standard work lunch and so to accompany it, we had not-so-standard conversation. We talked about the future and the past. About our levels of contentment with our current states of being but also how we are both looking for love and partnership in our lives. About board games, friends and real estate. About serendipity and coincidences.
I’ve had a series of encounters and coincidences today. As I walked over to meet up with Jess I called my mother. She said that she had woken up that morning thinking that she needed to remind me to buy a plane ticket for my trip home to Portland in December. But when she sat down at the computer to write me a reminder email, she found the confirmation email that I had just forwarded her from Travelocity with my itinerary. At about 11:30 this morning (about the same time my mother was waking up in Portland), I had suddenly thought to myself, “I need to buy my plane ticket today.” It was a good thing I did, because as I made my seat selections, each flight had no more than five seats left available. The energy was flowing back and forth between us today, communicating some unknown urgency in buying that plane ticket.
This afternoon I was waiting to cross Market St. at 36th, when the woman standing next to me starts talking. She said, “It isn’t safe to stand in the middle of the street anymore!” While I was taken aback by the statement (when is it safe to stand in the middle of the street?) I knew what she meant. She continued to tell me that she had just had a very close call with a cab, nearly getting knocked down while crossing with the light. As we parted on the other side of the street, I offered a sincere “take care,” and she sent me on my way with a “have a lovely day, honey.”
As I was walking across campus this afternoon at 4:45, plugged into the pod, a young foreign student stopped me to ask directions. I don’t know why she stopped me, I don’t think I was looking particularly approachable, but I was who she picked. She was trying to get to the CA (Christian Association) House, for a meeting. The CA House is a very liberal, open and affirming religious organization and I happen to serve on their board as the Unitarian representative. I thought it was neat that she stopped me to help her get to a location with which I am affiliated.
This evening I was at the Metroblogging Philadelphia happy hour at the New Wave Cafe (it was terrific to meet some of the bloggers who I read, email and harass on a regular basis). I happened to take a look at my phone at around 7:45 and I see I’ve missed two calls from my friend Erin. She was over at her sister’s house, with a dead battery, and no one to give her a jumpstart. I said goodbye to the metrobloggers and went to meet her. Once I got there, I realized that while I have a nice, new set of jumper cables (given to me as a thank you gift by my ex-boyfriend’s father on a particularly cold day in January, two years ago), I have never actually had to jump a car. There was a guy standing down the street a few doors away, who saw us standing in the street, reading the directions on the jumper cable box and in the car owner’s manual and came down to help. He shook his head at the level of corrosion on my battery and said, “Get some Coke or Pepsi and pour it on there, burn some of that crud off” but then pulled a screwdriver out of his pocket and started scraping at it until it was clean enough to use. He then hooked us up, I started my car, Erin started her’s and we were set. Our impromptu mechanic ducked his head and smiled shyly as we heaped thank you’s upon him, and slipped back into the shadows.
Now I’m home, feeling really lovely and satisfied by the number of unique, unusual and interesting encounters I’ve had with people today. If only everyday could be like this one.