serendipity, & god.

For once I check a notification from my phone and it’s my zodiac app saying:

This period may seem overwhelming, upsetting, and intense, but it’s an important initiation. It will be hard at first, but by the end of this cycle, if you consciously choose to participate, you’ll emerge stronger and more empowered for having endured it. You’re learning what it’s like to start from scratch and build yourself anew.

I’m on my way to the coffee shop after OCD therapy. I stop for a quick mailbox check and see a beautiful card from my grandmother; it could be for Easter or my birthday, since they’re a day apart.

I tuck the card in my purse and start the sunny walk down the street to the shop. I think I’ll stop at Rite Aid as well; I need stronger hair ties. I hope they have plastic-free ones, I think. And I look forward to my latte & my locally-made juice and to the sweat on my legs after a walk on a finally-warm spring day.

I end up behind a slow walker, and I try to respectfully keep a distance but I just cannot walk so slow, and so I stop in a lot where there are usually stray cats to see if I see any, and when I don’t I decide to open the card from my grandmother.

Anyone who knows me will know I’m not religious; spiritual yes but a believer in religion, no. But the card from my very Catholic grandmother says “May God watch over you” and that is a sentiment that melts my heart. If for me ‘god’ is the universe then yes, may she watch over me. And no matter who my grandmother pictures god to be, her wish that this holy and all-knowing being might turn an eye lovingly toward my little life is a beautiful sentiment. And so, I think, may god be with me and watch over me and my grandmother and my cats and all my loved ones.

And as I’m walking I’m stopped on the street by a man with a heavy New York accent asking if I have the time to answer a simple question. Something, maybe his very friendly dog, makes me stop. And we have a generous and kind conversation because of his question:

What do you think could bring all the world peace?

And we talk about music and fresh air and nature and the playfulness of animals and his being raised Jewish and Catholic and my childhood going to Catholic schools. But we talk very little religion. Yes, this man is part of a ministry but this is unlike any other “religious” conversation I’ve ever been stopped for. Usually church and ministry and religion to me have been ways of “dutifully” pointing out all the ways in which I am “imperfect” in the eyes of some man-made God. This was nothing like that, only a reflection on how the world needs peace.

I hope I have another walk like this, and I believe I will. That’s why I am happy to call my current community home.

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