Serendipity is defined as ‘happy accident’. Coming across something wonderful when you’re not looking for it. These moments are pure treasure for anybody, but for a writer, they are part of the compost heap that must be built, in order to be mined at a later date.
I’m lucky enough to have had many serendipitous moments in my life and one of them happened here, overlooking the amazing falls at Niagara. I mentioned in my post the other day that we spent a holiday travelling up through New England – http://patwoodblogging.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/being-nosy-in-new-england/ – well, we concluded our trip by crossing the border into Canada, staying over in Niagara and continuing on to fly back from Toronto.
We did the touristy things. The Maid of the Mist (much scarier than I expected and where I made my peace with my Maker, convinced I would never escape the water, the rocks, or that incredible noise), the helicopter ride (not as hairy as I expected and I got some great pictures), you know the kind of thing.
The following day, we just walked, laughing as we took in the atmosphere of this mad town. And as we walked along in front of the falls, taking our photographs and people watching, one young woman caught my eye. She seemed upset. Sniffing, searching for a tissue, wiping her nose on her sleeve and blinking tears away in an embarrassed way. I fished out a tissue for her.
“Are you all right?”
She began to laugh through her tears and nodded as she took the tissue. It was only then that I notice the young man, poised nearby with a camera. She waved her hand at me, still unable to speak, but in the spray-filled sunshine, I caught the sparkle of a ring.
“Have you just asked her to marry you?” My own eyes began to glaze.
“And she said ‘Yes’!” burbled the young man, who was in no better state than his brand new fiancée. “I was trying to take her photo with the engagement ring in front of the Falls.”
After several tissues and much nose-blowing, including on the part of my husband, together with congratulatory hugs, we took pictures of them both with their own camera and left them together to enjoy their moment.
Their engagement was a special happy time for them in front of the spectacular falls, to remember all their lives.
But it was our moment too. A tiny piece of serendipity, a gift for us to remember.