I have a funny story about my timely, albeit tight, transition on my return travel from the year-transition retreat in Mary Esther, Florida to Amsterdam, Netherlands, where I currently live and work. The arrival to work went quite smoothly, although it was a long day with little sleep. Right after work I went directly to a birthday dinner of a friend of mine (although I had not really settled into my home yet). The friend is just a few blocks from my apartment so afterwards, I was walking home - very eager to sleep. I stopped at the corner store to get a few things to eat as I knew my house would be empty of food. When I went to pay for the groceries, I could not find my wallet. The owner knew me and let me agree to come back and pay later, so I went out in the minus two degrees darkness with my phone in flashlight mode and trying to retrace my steps to find my wallet. I retraced all the way back to the main road which I had crossed right in front of my friend's building. Right there, in the middle of that road, I could see my wallet. Very obvious and easy to spot under the streetlight. I started to cross the road to collect it and just then I heard a loud -DIING! DING! The #17 tram rolled in front of me and directly over my wallet. I watched the slow steel wheels roll smoothly over my wallet and completely bisect everything inside: Euros, US Dollars, Credit Cards, EU ID cards, my museum card, coins, driver's license, a picture of my daughter, etc
Something about it made me laugh. While laughing out loud and chasing bits of torn currency that were being whipped around in the freezing wind, I could not help but be amazed at the 10,000 coincidences and convergences that had made up my day. The departure from Magnolia Zen Center, the air flights, the airport connections, the bus ride to from the airport to work, the dinner at my friends, and then my wallet lying exactly on the tram rail.
I also recognized my tendency just then to try and find symbolism or meaning in the events. But I remembered a teaching from the retreat, a comment from a friend right after jumping into a swimming pool of freezing water together: “Hey - it's okay. We don't have to think or talk about it.”
It is just a coincidence. But I am grateful just the same.