The sign came up slowly out of the foggy haze and wet snow, an image from long ago:
Then a very real, deep memory emerged:
The wet snow was being driven by easterly winds off Lake Michigan, so I was taking my time when the sign came up slowly. I was in no hurry; it was January 21st, just three weeks after taking an early retirement. My wife and I were on our way to Madison to visit her brother and his wife for several days. An hour earlier we had left my sister's home where we had returned my 90 year old mother who had spent several months with us in Hoover, Alabama, (James Redfield's home town).
I was taking my time, too, in deciding what to do after retiring. For the past six months, retiring had looked more and more like the thing to do. Another synchronicity along the way guided me to the decision to retire. Now I was facing the decision of what to pursue, where to focus and spend my time.
First, it seems, there were the ideas and technologies which I had been developing and working with for the past four years; I really wanted to continue developing and applying them. But I also had become very interested in synchronicity. Was it possible that I could or should work in some way with synchronicity--personally and rofessionally --as well?
On Friday, January 23rd, we headed for home.
As we reached the Wisconsin-Illinois border, I stopped to fill up before the long drive through Illinois. I thought I had heard a strange noise, so I decided to check the oil--it was more than a quart low.
The manager at the small gas station suggested I take it to a WalMart superstore a block away and have them check things over.
I decided I'd have them change the oil, too.
While the car was being serviced, I wandered into the large WalMart store. This was C's home town. C was the girl who was with me on that trip to see the 10th Street shadow.
I thought I'd check a phone directory to see if any of her family still lived there.
As I rounded the end of an aisle I came face-to-face with a young woman whose appearance immediately struck me as a likeness of C. I asked her for directions to a phone, but was too timid to ask her who her mother was.
Not finding anyone with her family name in the phonebook I headed back, this time with courage to ask the young woman; but she was no where to be found.
We continued on our way, and made it back in plenty of time to stock up on food and snacks for the great Super Bowl game on Sunday. It wasn't as great as we hoped; Green Bay lost to Denver, and so I was ready to get back to my business of pursuing my future.
On Wednesday, while using AltaVista to search for and verify the email address of a friend of mine at Florida State University, it came to mind to search for C on the Internet. I had done it once before, without success, when I first discovered AltaVista and searched for many names from the past. Of course, she was probably married with a different last name. So there was little chance I'd find her this time, either.
I entered, her first name, the word NEAR and her last name; and I got two hits!
One link was to a message at genealogy website where someone was trying to locate her 80 year old namesake (unrelated). The other link was to an editorial from the July 23, 1996 local Daily News. The editorial was about C's cousin who was aboard the ill-fated TWA 800 flight that crashed, mysteriously, off the shores of Long Island
The editorial also mentioned that her cousin chose to go France instead of attending her 40th anniversary class reunion.
Now C had graduated from the same high school, in the same class. Forty years earlier a fellow classmate or hers, who lived in the same boarding house I did in Madison, had shown me pictures of C in their yearbook.
AltaVista again came through when I found on the Internet a message trying to locate members of her graduating class of 1956 for the class reunion. I sent a message to the person who posted it and in less than twelve hours received a reply containing her full married name, Virginia address, and telephone number.
I noticed something familiar about the ZIP code; it differed by only 1 from the ZIP code of the person with the genealogy message looking for C's namesake. When I checked Quest! city maps on the Internet, I discovered that the person doing genealogy on C's family name lived less than five miles from her!
On the Tuesday before I had begun my AltaVista adventures, I received a message from a conference organizer in Chicago. He was confirming my participation in a repeat of a conference at which I had made a presentation at the Watergate Hotel last October. I replied that since I was now retired, I didn't have the resources to make the trip at my own expense. Within minutes he replied, offering to pay my travel expenses from Alabama. That fit in with my idea to continue work I had been doing before I retired, so I began updating my presentation for the conference to be held, this time, in Arlington, Virginia--less than ten miles from C's home!
Certainly, this series of meaningful coincidences would have been enough to guide me in my decision to give synchronicity a substantial amount of my energy and attention in retirement. But there was more to come.
After some careful explaining to my wife, I told her I needed to pursue matters, further, as James Redfield us to do in The Celestine Prophecy and The Celestine Vision.
With some difficulty and concern, she understood and agreed that I should contact C. I placed a call on Sunday, and got an answering machine. I hung up, outlined exactly what I would record, and called back. Less than twenty seconds into recording my message C. picked up the phone, and we began a lengthy conversation. Among other things, she also had an interest in synchronicity, had read The Celestine Prophecy, and had pursued similar interests.
Within half an hour she had sent me email with an internet address for her family's Christmas card and a message that she looked forward to meeting me when I made my trip to Arlington, Virginia in early February.
Then, in the interim between the call and our meeting, like a meteor shower, a series of new synchronicities occurred related, in one way or another, to this trip.
We met for lunch the second day of the conference. It was then C told me that during the same week--the week I had seen the sign for the Botanical Gardens and had seen a likeness of her in the WalMart--she told someone her story of that crazy trip and our stop at the Botanical Gardens! C said, "Perhaps it was about the same time you saw that girl." (Until then I hadn't told her about seeing the sign at the Botanical Gardens; so that's even a more likely possibility.)
Then she withdrew from her purse a small writing pad, opened it and explained to me what she had noted, there.
The morning of our meeting she consulted her Dolphin Divination Cards and three cards came up with with the three phrases she had written down--for past, present, and future (shown, below). She confessed she wasn't sure what they meant to her; but they had great meaning for me. I believe she suspected so, too.
Synchronicities are often like answers to unspoken prayers. They come at time of crisis or transition or need. They come when we are open to them, looking for them. Our lives--C's and mine--were entangled more then forty years ago.
Now we have shared recent moments of amazing synchronicity, understandable in light of current theories of quantum reality, nonlocality, mind, and soul- making. I was blessed with one of the most memorable, soulful, non-local experiences I could ever imagine or expect. And I was blessed to see a long-lost friend, again.
The synchronicities of this story haven spoken to me: to the transition period I was and still am in; to my personal and professional pursuit of synchronicity and soul-making; and to the idea and purpose of the Synchronicity and the Enfolded website.
Indeed, I will go with the flow.