Things Don’t Just Happen

 I am intrigued by why something happens in my life, suspecting  that when it does,  is not a separate, one-and-done event.   Rather, I believe there is a reason for its occurrence, and this one thing is setting the scene for something else or a chain of additional somehow-connected events.  I believe it is part of a plan.   Once I was asked to change my seat on a flight and ended up sitting next to a woman, Linda, who became a good friend.  That didn’t just happen. I believe there was a plan for us to meet and we did. Now I agree that I might have not been willing to change my seat that day, thereby screwing up “the plan”  but then I suspect I would have met Linda another place and time. I suppose I could be accused of being unwilling to take things at face value and spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out a reason for something that has happened, but I generally am able to link the event and the reason and I like figuring out the puzzle.

Things don’t just happen.

One day, as I am known to do, I found myself searching the internet for nothing in particular, perhaps just wasting time.  (Far too many dresses have been purchased during those mindless searches!!!)   On this particular day, I found what has become one of my favorite things:  A butterfly in a jar.  With a slight tap to the jar, the real-looking butterfly flies around.  When my purchase first arrived, I found myself laughing out loud.  I always feel good whenever I am greeted by a butterfly and now I had my very own!   Delightful!   But within moments I began to question myself…What was I thinking?  Why on earth would I purchase a fake butterfly in jar? What was I to do with it?

Just a few months later while searching for a home for a friend, I was introduced to Mary Kay who owned a rental home that would be perfect for Mike.  Mary Kay and I connected instantly, as though we had been friends for years.   I was going to visit her one day and wanted to bring her something.  I immediately abandoned any thoughts of the usual bottle of wine, a box of candy or baking a cake. With my gift, I wanted to accomplish two things:  I wanted to delight Mary Kay and I wanted to give her some insight into me.

And there it was, right in my closet, just waiting to meet Mary Kay– the butterfly!  It would delight her and she would quickly understand the whimsical, silly side of me.  So that was the reason why I bought it! It was intended to connect me to a new friend. Mary Kay loved having her own butterfly and displayed it for all her visitors to see.  She said that every time she looked at the butterfly flapping its wings, she smiled. She has since purchased the butterfly in a jar to give to others, a gift that keeps on giving I suppose you could say.  And so between us, Mary Kay and I have brought smiles to many people, all because of that initial, unexplainable purchase of a fake butterfly in a jar.

Things don’t just happen.

Sometimes we talk about things that occur as a coincidence, as though there is no causal-relationship between the events.  I don’t happen to believe in coincidences.  I think things happen for a reason, as though they are part of a bigger plan. I met Linda on the plane because our lives and personalities were such that we needed to meet.  I met Peter to unleash that romantic, fun side of me, forcing me to re-prioritize my  “wish list” for the partner I am searching for.   The onset of a mild form of an autoimmune disease  expanded my ability to feel empathy and prepared me to care for another whose life is changing due to an illness.  I bought the butterfly in a jar for a friend I had not yet met, but would meet, and broaden my world a little more.

Lucky for me, things don’t just happen!!!

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