I got a phone call today from my oldest goddaughter, who is now 30 years old and the mother of four children. It has been quite a few years since our last conversation, for no obvious reason other than the busy demands of our lives. Truthfully, last week I had been thinking about her and even mentioned her briefly to a friend.
So when I heard her familiar voice on the message, I smiled, even after all this time. When she gave me her phone number, it too was familiar. It had been her mother's number and her grandmother's number, etched in my mind after many decades.
Her call couldn't have been completely out of the blue. Why today? Why this month? Why now? How are we the same and different than we used to be?
I frequently wonder about these things–synchronicity, coincidence, rhythm. I was thinking about her and then she called, or I seem to be on the same wavelength with someone, pondering similar themes or questions; we're practically using the same words at the same time.
When I was a teenager in summer camp, my best friend and I used to shake hands and count every single time we said the same word at the same time. It happened often, and it delighted us both.
In 12-step recovery programs, when someone is looking for a sponsor, they are advised to "find someone who has what you want" (in terms of their recovery) and go talk to them. In other words, listen carefully. Notice whom you are drawn to and why. When you find someone whose "program" (values, way of living, other qualities) resonates for you, pay attention to that. Listen for what's there; don't walk away from what feeds your soul.
"I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it's special, and you remember it a long long time. You say, Remember when you told me something special? And both of us remember."
-excerpt from I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg and Jacqueline Chwast
This excerpt is from one of my all time favorite children's books. I still own my childhood copy, which is tattered and torn and has my childhood handwriting scrawled on various pages. I Like You is a long lovely poem about this very topic of synchronicity and connection, written from the voice of a child, or at least the childlike part of us. The desire to be met, mirrored and affirmed is a powerful one, matched by our equally important desire to feel secure in our autonomy and independence.
I am genuinely grateful for inexplicable synchronicity, for the incredibly brilliant, loving, kind people who come into my life in many ways. They are special to me, and I to them, and we will know it for a long long time.
I had a dream last night about a friend from high school that I haven't seen in thirty years. I wonder if she'll call soon.