Confusing Coincidences

I am fairly certain that all of you have had odd things happen in your life that you cannot quite understand or explain, like, reaching to pick up the phone just before it rings, or, suddenly thinking about someone you have not seen in years, and you literally bump into them when you walk around the corner.

What is that? Seriously, what is that? A coincidence? I truly don't know what to think about that. To me, a concidence is something more mundane, less startling, like two people in a grocery store reaching for the same apple in a huge bin of apples. Ho ho, what a coincidence. We were reaching for the same apple! Isn't that funny.

You laugh, wish each other a good day and move to another area of the produce department and forget about it. These strange events though, that seem much bigger than a coicidence baffle the hell out of me. What are they for? Whenever something big and startling happens in my life, I am want to examine it from every angle and figure out 1) why did that happen and then 2) is there some kind of deeper meaning?

If it is something mundane, I let it go, but, really odd and bizarre coincidences I think about, sometimes for years. Why do I do that? Why do I think about them for so long? The only way I can answer it is to go back to my two questions I wrote in the last paragraph. A lot of human beings, myself included, kinda want to understand what is happening to us. Certainly, we stumble across mysteries our whole life like why did that Cheetoh look so much like Abraham Lincoln, or, who keeps stealing half of a pair socks. Who does that?

About 20 years ago, while I was living in Los Angeles, I woke up in the middle of the night. There I was wide awake, and so I lay there for a few moments, trying to drift back to sleep but it was not going to happen. Frustrated I kicked the sheets and blankets off then decided to go upstairs and play a game on my computer or do some writing.

My house was split level. The bedroom was in the single level in the back. Up front there were two stories, and my studio was on the second level. I headed for the stairs and stopped at the first landing close to the bottom. There were windows there, extremely tall and narrow. It was one of the uniqe and attractive features of this house.

I paused there looking out at the dark night sky. There wasn't any moon and just the weakest smattering of stars. Los Angeles is such a huge city that the light pollution made it tough to see the heavens. As I stood there, looking out the window I said "Wouldn't be that cool if I saw a shooting star right now."

At that moment, that exact moment after I finished saying it, one happened. It came down at a steep angle and was perfectly framed in one of those tall narrow windows. I tracked its progress, staring in silent amazement at the bright speck, brighter than anything else in the sky, until it winked out.

What just happened? I was, quite understandably, shocked. This wasn't reaching for an apple, this was a bonafide mysterious event. An event that signifies what though? I waited for a game show host to jump out and hand me keys to my new Dune Buggy but that didn't happen. Over the next few weeks, I stayed aware, trying to be ready for some huge event to happen in my life. There wasn't anything like that, just my normal routine.

So why did that materialize? How did I happen to think about that star just before it shot to earth. What was the meaning of that?

When I was a kid, we were told that shooting stars were planets millions and billions of miles away that burned up, plumeting into a nearby star. I still believed that as I witnessed my star, as I came to remember it. I thought that maybe I was to be the lone witness of an entire planet of people disappearing forever, however, I soon came to learn that was not the case.

Shooting stars aren't stars at all, nor are they even planets filled with doomed people. They are actually tiny bits of dust and rock, called meteorids. When they enter earth's atmosphere they burn up during their short but magnificent fall to earth. If any bit of that rock remains and hits the ground, that is a meteorite.

Other startling things have happened during my life. Bizarre coindences that I cannot quite explain but that deal with the shooting star keeps coming to the surface again and again. I might go a whole year not thinking about it, then it pops back into my thoughts. The memory does not hound me or frighten me. I never thought of that star as being some sort of portent. If that was the case, something surely would have happened by now.

As I write this, again I wonder, how did I happen to say that it would be cool to see a shooting star a split second before it fell to the earth. And, absolute truth, I actually said it out loud. I'll probably want that on my tombstone - "What was the deal with the shooting star?"

I was so taken aback by what happened, sadly, I forgot to make a wish. Maybe I missed my chance to have a wish come true. Mystery solved?

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The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated - Mahatma Ghandi

©  Briar Lee Mitchell, 2014