I am a believer in serendipity. Things come to me. Now that I have sounded very mystical, let me tell you just how this happens.
First, let people know what you do. When I was a quilter, I “inherited” my aunt’s collection of fabric when she moved. I also was gifted a closet of fabric from a friend of my mother. I still bought a few pieces, but what a wealth was in my closet. And you quilters know, it is the unexpected pattern that you never would have paid good money for that can startle you and make the piece.
Now I am a science teacher. These are some gifts I have received recently from neighbors, friends, friends of neighbors, neighbors of friends:
- Copper from Montana
- A large rodent skull that may or may not be from the head of a Nutria (look it up- I did!)
- Black beach sand from New Zealand
- A wicked huge thorn from an Osage Orange tree
- A piece of natural slate
- A variety of bird’s nests
- A wasp nest (old and empty!)
- A bag of red Tennessee soil
- A dead luna moth, pale spring green with golden eye spots
- A perfectly preserved skeleton of a mouse (found on a garage window sill.)
Serendipity also extends to my reading life. I frequent used book sales. Now, I buy some books new, some to my Kindle, and I order some titles used through the internet. But these methods do not have the charming unpredictability of shopping at a used book sale. Sometimes I will be browsing and see someone else murmur lovingly over a book like seeing an old friend, and they will put it back and I might scoop it up. Other times the shoppers are chatty and someone will recommend a book or author to me that I never knew. What chemistry passes between us, for a stranger to offer and me to accept? And some books I just take a shine to. It is easy to give them a chance when they cost 50 cents to two dollars. And in my shopping bag of books that I bring home I know I will be transported by a few.
Serendipity. When you are open, gifts come.