Friday, 4 December 2009

The coincidental stranger in need of a lift and the golf club refund

Synchronicity at Play

I went to a BBQ yesterday. I didn’t really feel like going, I had a lot on, not enough time and too much to fit in. You know how it goes.

The sun made me go, the beautiful summer sun, the last rays of the summer. I realised I had no right not to appreciate the ability of being able to meet up with friends and sit and chat in a garden that has had a lot of love, care and attention given to it.

When I say friends, I use the term loosely. A friend of mine who is an Opera Singer has a collection of people in her life that she gathers together like lost sheep. We all migrate together in her garden a couple of times a year to swap notes, compare situations, a general socialisation of people from all walks of life. My opera singing friend has a son the same age as my son, they were at Junior school together and now they have left school and moved onto their higher education. Another Mum was also there that I have known for the same length of time.
During the 10 years that we have been meeting up like this we have got to know each other better, not really on a very deep level, but we all keep showing up.

Anyway, yesterday, I trotted along to the said gathering, and after introducing myself to some newly collected sheep, saying ‘Hi’ to some vaguely recognised faces I settled in a sun lounger armed with a cold drink to sit in a circle of women who I don’t know. Apart from Pat.

Pat is a piano student of the hostess. Pat is a no-nonsense business woman. She has no time for my arty-farty (as she puts it) ideas that there is anything more to life than what you can see, right here, right now.
As Pat was on the red wine she was quite happily holding court amongst the attentive strangers. I plonked myself next to Pat, disturbing her flow, and introduced myself to each member of this congregated collection of strangers. Pat decided that now was a good time to tell me about something strange that had happened to her. My ears perked up, on alert for an ear-bashing about how awful life is, and how she has proof that there is no God or some other harsh vocal that was likely to come my way.

By way of background information, Pat has a daughter who lives about 25 miles away, maybe 30 in a town outside the City of Chelmsford, called Braintree. Pat, openly admits to being a terrible mother, but she does her best. Pats ‘best’ means that when her daughter asks for her help Pat tells her what to do. Invariably the answer about ‘what to do’ does not involve Pat.

Pat is successfully swanning around the globe, bossing people about and generally having a whale of a life. Pat’s daughter and her new baby are not Pat’s problem! Got the picture? Having said that, Pat is sociable, charming, entertaining and colourful. The sort of person you would want at a bbq to entertain the troops. She is also tiny, about 5ft.

Pat was on her way, uncharacteristically, to see her daughter. Using her newly purchased Sat-Nav to direct her 30 miles away from home. As she was driving along, her Sat-Nav was making no sense to her whatsoever and she got to the point where she decided to pull over to sort it out. She pulled over into a lay-by (you know the part of the road where you can stop,re-charge your batteries, call the breakdown services). As she was pushing the buttons on her Sat-Nav a man came walking up to her car.

As her daughter pointed out,it was at this point she should have locked herself in). Pat wound her window down.
She said to him “do you know how to get to to Braintree?”
He said to her “do you know how to get to Hatfield Peverall?” – or somewhere like that, as Pat was telling this story I wasn’t listening as fully as I should have been to the exact details because I was waiting for a punchline, I think his car had also broken down.

Pat didn’t know where he was going but she said she had a Sat-Nav and told him to jump in her car. He jumped in and looked at the Sat-Nav. It was still on DEMO. Pat hadn’t set the Sat-Nav properly. Really, it is amazing she made it that far. So, the Man, now called Bob, set the Sat-Nav. He phoned the person he was trying to get to and got their post-code from them. Pat chatted on the phone to the person and called out the postcode for the Sat-Nav. Bob wrote the number down on a piece of paper in Pats car.
The pair of them set off and headed 9 miles along the road for Bob to get to his destination and Pat happily said “cheerio”. He thanked her for her help. When Pat arrived at her daughters and relayed the story her daughter ‘had a cow’. What was Pat thinking letting strange men in her car and driving them about? Mother-daughter relationship, very complex!

Pat told her not to worry and settled down to tell her daughter about the saga she had had with the golf club that morning. The Golf Club had cancelled her lessons because the trainer was sick. The Golf Club were refusing to refund Pat’s £100 because it wasn’t their fault. They hadn’t reckoned on Pat. Pat went personally to the Golf Club, all 5 feet of her and sat in their reception until they dealt with her. She walked away from the Golf Club with a cheque made payable to her for the full £100. As Pat reached in her bag to produce said cheque as evidence for her storytelling to her daughter she realised she had left the envelope in her car, it dawned on her slowly that the piece of paper Bob had written on was in fact an envelope. In her minds eye she recalled him putting the paper in his jacket pocket as he walked away.
“Never mind” Pat told her daughter, he will see the cheque is made out from the Golf Club and he will call them. I will get another cheque (hows that for confidence?).
Pat’s daughter is by now having another justifiable fit at her Mother’s behaviour. In the morning Pat has been ordered downstairs to make morning tea by her daughter and while Pat is downstairs her mobile phone starts ringing upstairs. Who is calling Pat at this ungodly hour when there is a baby in the house, what is wrong with people? Pat’s daughter demands that Pat come back upstairs mid-tea making to answer her phone.
The person on the phone is a lady friend of Pat, someone she goes to the gym with in Southend.
She asks Pat if she helped someone broken down in a lay-by yesterday?
“Yes”, says Pat.
“That man you helped?
That was my husband. He has got your cheque. I will bring it to the gym with me”.
And so Pat is re-united with her cheque.

Still, there is no God, there is no universal intelligence and everything that happens is of your own making.

This one anecdote, the coincidental stranger who turned out not to be as strange as he first appeared, made my bbq experience one worth having.
Also, proof for me again, that coincidence and synchronicity are only meaningful for people who choose to give them meaning. To other people they are just a fact of life, random coincidences that mean nothing and no amount of arguing or expression of wonder or awe will make the slightest bit of difference!

Living in awe of the higher intelligence that makes itself known everyday!

Love and light to all of you who need it.

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