For my entire life, I have been aware that I have a little bit of….well….ESP. Or some kind of mind reading skill. Or maybe a weird kind of serendipity. Or something.
When I was little, I learned about this skill from my Mom, who had an absolutely uncanny ability to identify the caller when the phone rang. “Oh, its Nana”, she’d say calmly as she reached for the ringing phone. I just sort of assumed that everyone had the same skill. As I got older, though, I realized that Mom’s talent was unusual, to say the least.
Later, when I was in my teens, I discovered that I had the same strange ability to recognize or create moments of perfect symmetry. Moments of strange coincidence.
Let me give you some examples.
When I was 17, I was an exchange student. I was sent to Tunisia to live with a family for three months, learning about the culture and language. As part of the trip, I attended a two day orientation in NY City. My group, the Tunisia kids, consisted of 18 teenaged Americans from all over the country. I was put in a room with three other young women, and told that I would share a double bed with one of them. We randomly paired off, and I found myself bunking in with the lovely Patty, of Long Island. As we chatted and asked questions and slowly got to know each other, we realized that we shared a birthday. In fact, we were born within ten minutes of each other. Both of us were the second child in Italian American Families. Both had older brothers. Both had a younger sister named Liz; they were born four days apart!
It was weird, and we knew it. We are still friends.
When I grew up and had my own children, I moved to this small town in Central Massachusetts. I made some friends, but didn’t realize that my odd talent for coincidence had followed me here. Not until my youngest child fell in love for the very first time. The young lady of his dreams has a wonderful Mom, who quickly became a friend. She also happens to share my birthday, in date if not in year. Sweet! And that’s not all, oh no. The young lady’s oldest brother went off to West Point after graduating from High School. Where he became close friends with (are you ready?) the oldest son of my friend from Long Island.
Seriously weird, right?
I have begun to believe that I carry a certain “karma”, too. A certain sense of payback, for good or ill.
I once provided speech/language support to a little girl at our school, even though she did not technically qualify for “special education.” I knew that I could help her, and so I did. I got a LOT of pressure and pushback from the rest of the special ed world, but I held my ground, and I helped the child.
Fast forward some 12 years, and the mother of that child became the mentor and teammate of my daughter when mine became a new teacher in our district. Karma, right? Coincidence. Serendipity.
My life is filled with these kinds of small connections.
Today I had a busy day, putting the garden to bed, cleaning the house, correcting 24 essays. At last the day began to wane, and I put dinner in the oven. I poured a glass of wine and pulled out a piece of stationary. This week is the birthday of one of my dearest and oldest friends. We met some 35 years ago, and became incredibly close. We sang in a choir together, worked as interpreters together, shared the angst of our twenties. Paul and I even introduced her to her husband! Our children were friends. She is one of the people who knows me best in all the world.
She moved across the country long ago, but we have somehow managed to hold onto the love that we feel for each other. This afternoon, my heart and mind were filled with images of my dear Deb, and all of the wonderful memories that we have shared over all these years. I sat down, and I wrote her a long and tender birthday note. I sealed it, put on a stamp, placed in on the countertop where I will be sure to mail it in the morning.
And then I booted up my email. And there it was. For the first time in at least a year, my technology averse friend Deb had sent me an email. Talking about every single item that I had written about in my note. Every one.
I don’t know exactly what this is. I don’t know if I have a strange kind of ESP or what. All I know is that I am surrounded by coincidences that don’t seem to be a coincidence. I am supported by a sense of karma that prevents me from being cruel or cold to strangers, who may one day turn out to be my greatest supports.
I don’t know what this is.
But I REALLY like it a lot.
15 thoughts on “ESP? Or what?”
When I was younger and the telephone rang a lot, I pretty much always knew who was calling. But now, with caller ID, I think I haven’t used the skill in a long time. It got buried. Use it or lose it? It was very helpful before caller ID, though 🙂
I could never do that one, but my Mom was uncanny…..
On another note entirely, I am in the middle of “The 12 Foot Teepee” and I am in awe of your skill.
Thank you. I wish I’d had an editor and a proofreader! I see all the mistakes and they make me cringe 🙂 But — I put almost 2 years of my life into that book so it’s great to have people finally reading it 🙂 Thank you again!!
Marilyn, you should have had an editor, a publisher and whole pile of publicists. I am passing on the title to friends and family; it is one of those books that I keep thinking about when I am away from it, eager to get back and pick up the story.
I wish I’d had the support when I needed it. I knew it could be a lot better but you know, it’s hard to see what you wrote, only what you intended to write.
Lovely…I so associate with your talents, since I think I have some of it, too, although not to such a high degree as you do. Enjoying your posts. Keep it up!
Thank you, Nancye, the coolest person I have EVER met….. Patti Smith…..seriously???
Hope to see you one of these days very soon!
This is really beautiful and an excellent reminder to treat everyone with respect and kindness.
What a wonderful gift you have. For making friends and for serendipitous coincidences. Sadly, I don’t share it. I have the ESP of a pair of socks!
I knew you were going to say that.
I love this post about your super powers, because that is exactly what they are. I can identify with this because, without blowing my own trumpet, your post explains my life too. It’s magical to be able to truly feel the ebb and flow and just know. There is no explanation, but it is truly wonderful.
Sometimes I feel like the “power” is gone, but then something happens like that letter/email, and I am in awe once again!
You know zorbear and I love you, Mom, but, as a Buddhist monk, I feel the need to tell you that karma doesn’t mean “payback”, it means “result”. You know, as in “as you sow, so shall you reap”.
Of course, that still works in your case, since you sow such love and kindness…
Thank you, to both Bears! I know too little about Buddhism, but I love the idea of positive results rather than the scarier “payback” idea.
I still have some spooky cool coincidences, but your version of karma makes me feel like I have more control. Thank you, Daddy B!