Serendipity is a word that I have loved since elementary school where we read a short story about a person that was looking for one particular thing around their home and ended up finding a myriad of other things they didn't know were lost and didn't realize they needed until they found them. I don't remember very many stories from our readers in grade school, but this one stuck with me. I know the meaning of this word "serendipity" because of its context in a story I read years ago. This is reason alone for this to be something worth telling you in this Magic School mini.
But wait, there's more!
Do you suppose it could be possible to train yourself to become serendipitous? To cultivate it as, say, one of your magical powers? To become a "Super-Encounterer?!"
We talk in The Magic School 101 about "Just Men." It's a phrase from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium and it goes hand in hand with those who the Serendipity article refers to as "Non-Encounterers...who tended to stick to their to-do lists when searching for information rather than wandering off into the margins."
Sounds a lot to me like my endearing band of Secret Message Society Members. Those who find exactly what they need hidden in the folds of their everyday lives.
When I interact with storybooks, this is the sort of spirit I go to the pages with. A sense that no one precisely like me has come to read these paragraphs before, and that I will make connections between the fiction and my reality that will allow me to continue my meaningful living.
The reading of a book is not an isolated event. It is connected to what came before in my life and what is coming next. I may open the pages for sheer enjoyment, but where they take me may be altogether surprising. Suddenly I may find myself making a connection between a make believe storybook and an isolated conversation between me and my boyfriend in high school and what's even more wild is that connection may lead me to the very exact next piece of the puzzle I need to take a new and daring step forward in my very real life.
This is exactly what I mean by the phrase "Following the White Rabbit." It gives my life a deep sense of magic because I am open to where the string will lead me. I make plans, go about the ins and outs of my living, and am always on the lookout for a twitchy nose and fuzzy tail to take me somewhere full of surprises and new discoveries.
Keeping the magic alive in your life really is about meandering between imagination and reality, between fiction and non-fiction, between stories and the "real world" and scribbling in the margins about all the connections that you and only you (oh Artist as Magician) make along the way.
What will you find when you're looking for something else? It takes practice to wander off.