The Serendipity of My Abbey

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Mostly Musings

Would it surprise you to learn that I am in love with words?

I didn’t think so. Retired English teacher, lifelong reader, writer, blogger— it’s totally predictable. Please excuse me if this post sounds like a vocabulary lesson. I freely confess that it is, at least in the beginning.

And so, class, the word for the day is serendipity.

I first encountered the word in the name of a ‘60s group, the Serendipity Singers. Although I can’t for the life of me remember anything they sang, I have never forgotten their name. My dictionary tells me that serendipity comes from a Persian fairy tale, and defines it as “a gift for making accidental, fortunate discoveries.”

I love the concept of serendipity, but I also love the way the word’s sound illustrates its meaning. The first half of it, seren-, sounds soothing and dignified, like the beginning of serenity. But the ending of the word, –dipity, sounds silly and playful. The fact that the syllables come together at all is a surprise, and that, of course, is the key to its meaning.

Serendipity certainly would be a gift worth possessing. Those who have this talent must greet each morning eagerly, confident that something wonderful will happen but never quite sure what form their next “fortunate discovery” will take. Even the smallest discoveries will be all the sweeter because they are unexpected.

So where am I heading with this vocabulary lesson? Right back to my Abbey, of course, but I’m taking the long way to get there.

The home buying process is filled with decisions that require careful consideration, logic, analysis, organization. To be honest, I found it quite stressful at times. But as with most difficult things in life, the payoff comes at the end.

Only after I had begun living in my new home did I start to notice the small things that give me so much joy. These are the serendipitous pleasures that you will not find on a floor plan or a list of upgrades or the deed to the property.

Here are some examples of the serendipity of my home. I love:

• the smell of fresh lumber that lingered for months. It is similar to the new car aroma, but it lasts longer.

• lying in my bed at night, looking through the half-moon window, and seeing the constellation Orion. He hunts while I sleep.

• my dishwasher. I’ve never had one before, and waiting 63 years has made me really, really appreciate it.

• my drawers. They glide closed with the lightest touch of a finger.

• my cabinet and drawer pulls. They were the only detail that I selected because my home was finished when I bought it. Silly as it sounds, I look forward to opening a cabinet or drawer.

• an original piece of artwork, the lead crystal sun catcher hanging in the half round window in my sun room. The rainbows that it flashes around the room are magical.

sun catcher

There is one more thing I’ve learned about serendipity. It is completely individual. And so, if you live in an Epcon home, I’d love to know if you also have made any “accidental, fortunate discoveries.” If you would be willing to share a detail that you love about your home, please pass it on to me. You may click below and add a comment. You do not have to use your full name. Or if you prefer, comment on my Facebook or Twitter accounts or send me an email, and I’ll post your thoughts here.

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