"I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path." – The Dalai Lama
First, a bunny update: The bunny that lives under our big blue spruce tree is alive and well, I'm happy to report. Hadn’t seen him for awhile, and since we border open space, I was concerned because we have various predators in the area. Anyway, with the snow quickly disappearing, bunny is chowing down on some grass as I start this post.
I'm 78, the world's oldest, newest blogger, and I assert with confidence that one of the joys of aging is developing a greater appreciation for the mystery Carl Jung called synchronicity.
Synchronicity touched my life in an extraordinary way last week and I'm still drunk with the happiness of it all.
A fable about the hero's journey
I had been invited to a private school called the HomeSpun Academy in Loveland, Colorado, to speak about a book I self published a few years ago entitled The Raven Who Spoke with God.
The book is a fable about integrity and the “hero's journey.” I wrote it at a Starbucks soon after moving to Denver to marry JoAnn. It describes how a young raven named Joshua feels a sense of destiny in life and follows his mission regardless of the many challenges that confront him.
Goodness knows, I didn’t plan it this way. But the book came out on 9/11. It was translated into 11 foreign-language editions during the years following 9/11, but about two years ago it seemed to me it had run its course. Since we were planning to move to Denver I decided to give away some copies to Habitat before we moved.
Life had other ideas for my book
As I say, I thought my book had reached the end of its natural life span. Little did I know that life had other ideas for The Raven Who Spoke With God.
The principal of the HomeSpun Academy, Beth Sowders, saw a box of the books for sale for a few dollars at Habitat and decided to buy them.
But the box of books remained unopened on a shelf until August 2010, when Beth, facing a big challenge in her life, decided to read a copy. As she told me during my visit -- the book changed her life.
Enrollment at HomeSpun had dropped and she was wondering whether it was the right thing to continue her work with the school. The story of a young raven who was true to his mission despite major challenges inspired her so much she knew it was the right thing to keep the school going.
"I couldn't stop crying"
"By the end of the book, I couldn't stop crying," Sowders said to her students when she introduced me to them. "God showed me my destiny is to be a teacher."
She had made the book part of the school curriculum. So when I arrived at the school last Wednesday I had the immense pleasure of meeting a group of students aged about 10 to 18 who loved the book and had been inspired by it to think more deeply about their lives.
Each of the students wrote me a note of appreciation.
Said one: "This book was very inspirational to me in some things that I was going through. I enjoyed having a character like Joshua, who goes through a very hard time at the beginning, but it got better along the way. I'm really happy that you wrote this book, because it showed me that even in the hardest of times God is always there to help you get through it."
Being open to synchronicity
Synchronicity is another word for grace, as far as I'm concerned. I believe that like grace, it is always ready to bring happiness and healing into our lives -- but of course we have to play our part.
We have to be open to its guidance, as the Dalai Lama points out. We have to listen to the little nudges that life brings to us, and act on the wisdom of our own heart.
Meeting Beth Sowders and her students last week was one of the greatest joys and fulfillments of my life for I had always hoped my raven book would help to remind people of any age of the unique destiny we each have to fulfill.
But suppose Beth had not bought the box of books I had more or less abandoned? Or suppose she simply left the book unread? Then the synchronicity I experienced last week would never have happened.
And I would never have met a wonderful group of young people whose passion and love for truth will inspire me for a long time.
Don't give up on your dreams
Don't be too quick to give up on your dreams -- synchronicty can touch your life at any time and at any age in ways you perhaps could never imagine.
By the way, the Loveland Reporter-Herald carried a fine article about my visit to the HomeSpun Academy. Just in case you'd like to read it, here’s a link:
Got a story about synchronicity you'd like to share? Please send it -- I'd love to hear from you. Meanwhile, blessings from me, JoAnn, and bunny.