Saturday, 4 October 2008
Alden and I were sitting talking a couple of nights ago, thinking that at some time in the forseeable future, we and our respective spouses might like to take a memorable trip. Perhaps a canal boat in France? Maybe bicycle down the valley of the Rhine from Andermatt in Switzerland to Rotterdam? How about motorcycles across the Nullarbor? Alden, being a nautical type, is keen on something involving flimsy craft floating on large bodies of water. He was telling me about the trip from Vancouver Island northwards which can be made in kayaks, and that it is possible to get collapsible kayaks that can easily go into the boot of a car. As he spoke, I was absent mindedly tapping on my PDA, downloading my email. As the words "collapsible kayaks" were coming out of his mouth, an email arrived from my friend Murray Broom whose business is making collapsible kayaks. Murray doesn't email me often; perhaps 3 or 4 times a year. I won't take this as a confirming sign from God on the Kayaks in Canada idea just yet, but it was a bit odd.
Many years ago, I was involved in an internet discussion on evolution. One of the other participants advised me to read the book The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner. The next day, I left my office at 3:00 to collect my daughter Bridget from school. She needed picking up at 3:15 and the journey took ten minutes: I had 5 minutes to spare. Passing the Hamilton library, there was that most rare of things: an empty parking space right outside, and on impulse I pulled into it. The parking meter had five minutes left on it. I ran into the library, and up the stairs to the computerised catalogue. The last person to use it had been doing a search on evolution, and right there on the screen was the shelving information for The Beak of the Finch. I dashed to the shelf, and the book was sitting, not with its spine showing like all the other books, but with its front cover facing outward so it could be seen from 10 feet away. I took it to the desk, had it processed and was back in my car just as the parking meter flag fell.
I expected after that, that The Beak of the Finch would be earth shattering. Oddly, it wasn't; although the book was a good read, it was not particularly helpful in forming my ideas. The collapsible kayak thing similarly, does not seem to be of any great significance. It's odd, but not earth shaking. Often, it seems that these synchronicities do not have any meaning outside of themselves other than to remind us of the interconnectedness of the universe. Which is of course, interconnected; and meaningful even on those occasions when the bits don't line up in a nice orderly fashion. I.e mostly.