Coincidence and Coffee

I had an interesting day yesterday.  After going way too long without visiting a dentist (and I do mean WAY too long), I finally found a great place and got the whole family in for a cleaning and general check-up.  My new dentist made my day when he informed me that I had no new cavities, something of a miracle in my mind.  I had, unfortunately, lost a filling at some point and that needed replacing.


After dropping the kiddos off at camp, I needed to find a place to park myself for a couple of hours until my late morning appointment with the drill (and laser–turns out dentists are “drilling” teeth with lasers now).  That’s how I found myself in a delightful little coffee shop in Ipswich, Massachusetts.  I’d never been before, but it was close to my dentist’s office so I decided to give it a try.


About an hour into my stay (thank you, coffee shop people for letting me hang out in your fantabulous establishment after purchasing a single regular coffee), I got up to buy a refill.  Guilt had nothing to do with it; I drink far too much coffee, that’s all. As I approached the counter, the current customer turned around to leave and, low and behold, it was a former student of mine whom I hadn’t seen since she graduated twelve years ago. (I’ll keep her anonymous by calling her Jane.)  Jane is on my short list of students who left a big impression on me, big enough so that I’ve thought about her on more than one occasion over the years.


So, BAM!  There’s Jane, and we’re both looking pretty stunned to see each other.  Her, because she was home visiting family; she lives out in the western part of the country these days.  The night before, she’d stumbled across a bunch of old science papers and lab reports she’d done for me as a sophomore, tucked away in a box in her mom’s attic.  For my part, I was stunned because I had never before set foot inside Zumi’s until that day, and to have picked the one day she was in town to give that coffee shop a try left me a bit flabbergasted.  The coincidence of it all was remarkable.


We did the speed-dating version of catching up with each other.  She was good.  I was good.  I’m still teaching at her old high school.  She’s director of education out west.  I have kids.  She doesn’t.  we didn’t chat for long.  Both of us needed to get back to our now completely separate and busy lives, but it was a marvelous surprise to see her again.


Sometimes, life throws unexpected but delightful moments like that our way.  This was one of those, so let me take this moment to say Thank You to the Universe.  I try to keep myself open to the world and take whatever it gives me.  Yesterday, it gave me a new scene in my current WIP and a bit of nostalgia.


Have you ever experienced an uncanny coincidence?  Was it positive or negative?  What did you take away from it?


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