Synchronicity: C J Jung’s term for meaningful coincidence. I like to think of it as God-incidence.
This past year, when I was dressing at the pool after my water exercise class, I became aware of two curious big dark-brown eyes of an almost 5-year-old watching me putting on face cream. I offered her some for her little face. After that I shared hand cream and then a spritz of grapefruit lily spray. Eventually I reluctantly gave her my little travel sized bottle of the spray. Her shy thank-you progressed to a good-bye hug that was delightfully soft and squishy in her little down jacket. Soon she was looking for me in my class (and I was looking for her) when she would arrive for her lessons. I would see her searching for me and then the big wave that made me feel so very special. I was told that she worried about me when I wasn’t at the pool. I would stop and watch her in her class as she learned to put her face in the water, to float, to swim a few strokes, to swim. Her teacher patiently guiding his young charges. As time went on I learned that this child was a foster child. That she was questionable for adoption because she had some “behavioral issues” and eventually I learned that this little girl, who had become a ray of sunshine in my life, had been terribly abused, tortured. And at times would rage uncontrollably.
I began to wonder what could I possibly do to help her. When I heard that Mozart’s music can have a calming effect on people who are out of control I gave her my Mozart CD with the hope that if they played it at breakfast her cereal dish wouldn’t be thrown across the kitchen. I heard she loved the music. Words from the Sound of Music ran through my head one morning: “When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad”. I suggested that maybe when she is upset that she could ask to spray grapefruit lily on an arm, think about how happy swimming makes her feel and remember the little phrase I was by now asking her to say to herself: “I am special”. I gave her my heart. I hoped that she would heal enough to learn how to comfort herself.
She continued therapy and her foster grandmother kept gently insisting on behavior that is acceptable. Lessons were over as summer started. I kept in email contact. And then, after unsuccessful potential adoptions, I learned that she was transitioning into a wonderful “forever” home and family. I visited her for one last hug. Her rages now had progressed to long bouts of sobbing when she is upset. When she stubbed her toe and a little blood appeared she couldn’t stop crying. Would she like to sit on my lap? She did. She snuggled her head on my chest and calmed down as I talked to her.
I have had the opportunity to tell her former swim teacher that our little friend has earned a chance for a happy life. “I taught her how to swim” he grinned and thanked me. Because of love, I had intentionally tried to help improve her life. Not knowing her story, he taught her how to begin to have control over hers. To conquer fear. To take her first baby steps toward new life. Now, I wonder, how many times in the everyday course of our lives we are instrumental, without knowing, of being a positive change.
another’s life. I expect our actions can be like the ripples around a pebble tossed into a pool, traveling who knows where and doing who knows what good. I like to think this is synchronicity. I like to think this is God in action.
Ann Dolbier is a friend and supporter of Celtic Way.