Sunday, November 7, 2010

Curiosity Leads to Synchronicity

    In the October dark evenings I spent countless hours searching the internet for information about European canals. I Googled the Canal Du Midi first and discovered this “canal of the two seas” was conceived in 1662 by Pierre-Paul Riquet as a short cut between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean as a means of safely delivering freight from one coast to the other.
     In the 17th century the only means of freight transport consisted of month long voyages in open ocean where the likelihood was high one might lose one’s ship and its contents to devastating ocean storms, Barbary pirates, or hostile Spanish ships.
     12,000 men and women labored by hand for fifteen years to dig this “trench” across the width of Southern France. The canal opened in 1681. Many of its ninety one locks and three hundred and twenty eight structures such as bridges, aqueducts, and tunnels were carved by hand out of solid bedrock. Commercial cargo traffic ceased in 1980—two hundred and ninety nine years of freight safely delivered though human ingenuity! In modern times France’s Canal du Midi serves tourists and pleasure boaters.
     I found an engaging article on the European canals titled “The Water Way” by Pierce Hoover and printed off a copy for Chrisi. I also included a picture of the Canal du Midi. She was bowled over by the incredible beauty of the waterway and the idea one could vacation on the canals, cruising through cities and towns, large and small, stopping to sample the local culinary and vinerary delights. 
    Two days later Chrisi charged into work all excited. The previous evening she went to her hairstylist Lacey, for a cut. Her mother-in-law Sue was with her. Chrisi sat in the stylist’s chair and showed Lacey and Sue the pictures I gave her of the canal. Sue said, “The canal du Midi. Hmmm…that sounds so familiar. I am pretty sure Keith’s Aunt Arlene vacationed on that canal.”  Sure enough Arlene called Chrisi a day later and told her all about their wonderful experience in France and it was the Canal du Midi! I love it when the universe underscores one’s actions. It reminds me there are no accidents in life. This was not the first time synchronicity was active in my life, connecting me to the right person at the right moment in time.
    Back home in Alaska in 1987 I was stumbling along after my divorce, eking out a living as a hair stylist, and continuing in my spiritual search for the path on which I belonged. I started attending Unity Church in Anchorage. I always sat up front on the far right because it was closest to the pianist/organist. She played the most incredibly soul soothing music which my torn heart needed so very badly.  It was here I first heard Pachelbel’s Canon and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I looked forward to Sundays for the sermons which were engaging, but mostly for the music that would soothe my battered soul.
     My daughters, Shiery and Jesseca, aged five and eight, attended Chinook Elementary School just down the street from our apartment. Jesse was particularly excited about her third grade music teacher, Mrs. Field, who organized a school district wide music and folk dance extravaganza, held at Diamond High school gymnasium. This teacher loved children and teaching, and knew how to create support in the school district ranks for a subject that is so often sidelined in favor in “serious studies” like math and reading.
     Imagine my utter astonishment upon introduction in Pullman, Washington in 2003 to Chrisi Kincaid’s mother—Sandy Field. After her divorce, Sandy longed for excitement so she packed her belongings in a pick up truck and drove the Al-Can highway from the lower forty eight states through Canada and into Alaska, where she taught music in the elementary schools and played organ and piano for Unity church! 
     We truly never know who will enter our lives and our hearts just as they are needed—and perhaps when they also need us. I believe when we follow our muse, our bliss, our passion or obsession—call it whatever you will--it inevitably leads us to where we belong, and to whom we belong.


  1. Lovely the way you write but then everything about you is 1st class.
    All those fools over the years did they never open their eyes fully. X

  2. You wouldn't be prejudiced by any chance, would you? LOL!