I find that life is sweeter when we actively court simple joys by looking out for them and then appreciating them with the honor of being recorded. Two recent instances of sublime, blissful, fortuitous coincidences:
1. A woman in Las Vegas moves temporarily to Australia. She has her mail forwarded to a friend here. One item is a magazine for mothers called Cookie. The woman apparently doesn’t need her magazines kept, and the friend has no use for it. The friend happens to work at my school, and figured my wife might like it. She gives me the current issue for her.
I flip through it a bit before putting it in my bag, and randomly open to a page with a few book reviews in the margins. One review is a little blurb about a new book sequel called The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey. It sounds interesting.
I check the website for my favorite library, and find that they have the original on the shelf. The Mysterious Benedict Society is about a gifted child who passes a weird test and goes undercover to spy on a bizarre, elite school. I put it on hold and pick it up soon. I start the first few pages, but then my daughter picks it up and starts to devour it.
I pick it up on April 23, 2008, and notice that the stamp inside the cover shows that the library recieved it on April 24, 2007–exactly one year before my daughter started reading it.
She finished it in three days and I hope to continue it soon. She loved it and wants to read the new sequel. I’m anxious to read it also.
And all because a woman moved to Australia. :)
2. Every Spring and Summer the Rainbow library in Las Vegas sponsors a series of jazz concerts. For the last few years, I’ve offered extra credit to students in my classes if they come out to one of these great shows. (I figure one of the best things I do as a teacher is to get a dozen or two teenagers to go to a library on a Saturday night and listen to jazz!)
This last Saturday was a fantastic show by students and faculty from CSN. I was out there with my two youngest kids. Several students came by to say “Howdy.” Others walked by and didn’t seem to recognize me.
One student came out with his dad and as they were looking for me, the dad noticed a guy on stage playing a horn solo. It was his godfather, whom he hadn’t seen in ten years. They stuck around and after the show went over to have a reunion.
Families are brought back together because an English teacher has a habit of going to jazz concerts.