"By taking small, seemingly insignificant actions in the direction of our goals and dreams (baby steps), we can quickly create changes which not only lessen the symptoms of depression but can also bring more energy, hope and vitality into our daily lives." Michael Neill
How often does this happen to other people? You discover a new word and then you start seeing it everywhere.
This recently happened to me with the word, "Aerie". It's what my young nephew calls his sister Ariel. I recently noticed that American Eagle had a clothing line by that name, and I thought about buying my niece a shirt from there for her birthday. I decided against it, figuring I was probably the last person to think of it (We only get to a real mall with an American Eagle once a year, and the clothing line was probably old news). I e-mailed Ariel anyway and asked her if she knew there was a clothing line with her name. I didn't think to look up "Aerie" because I didn't even know it was a real word. This is almost embarrassing to admit, because people think English majors and teachers are great spellers and know every word in the dictionary. (In fact I always, and just did, spell embarrassing wrong without spell check.) I probably would have forgotten about the word "Aerie" altogether, but a few days later, I came across it in a writing book. In, "Take Joy," Jane Yolen explains that she calls her writing room the Aerie, because it is as high up as an eagle's nest. Uh-duh. American Eagle. So began my new love for the word. Now "Aerie" reminds me of Ariel, and writing. This was a fascinating discovery to me because Ariel has recently announced her dream of becoming an author. At just 13, she has been writing amazing stories and enjoying a wide readership! For her birthday, I decided to send her a journal and some of my favourite writing books. I only wish someone had encouraged me at such a young age, rather than just saying, that they liked my writing or my high school newspaper column.
But, back to the word thing. It happened again a few days later. For Christmas, Jackson got a My Little Pony storybook called "Butterfly Hunt". It's about Sparkleworks, and Serendipty. They accidentally discover a butterfly, and then decide to look for more.What they find is a beautiful rainbow berry bush. They get swept up onto a cloud by a sea of butterflies and enjoy an enchanting ride over Ponyville. Dean hates this story because it's so disgustingly sweet. I don't care for it much myself. But what we both love, is the way Jackson, 2 goes around the house saying such a sophisticated word. "Serendipity". She says it like it's a word everyone knows and hasn't asked what it means. But truthfully, it's a word that neither Dean or I could have provided the definition for. We figured it meant good luck because the pony had good-luck clovers on her bum. Then, on Boxing Day. I found the word in a book I was reading. The writer talked about going on "Serendipity Walks" with her husband. They would just drive somewhere and get out of the car at a random spot, and then set off on an adventure on foot to see what they could see. It sounded like such a great way to get inspired and I vowed to try it out by taking Jaks on Serendipity walks.
But, I still didn't quite know what the word meant. I asked Dean to look it up online. He came up with this: "an aptitude for making discoveries by accident." I wasn't all that satisfied with such a rigid definition for such a playful word, but I accepted it and wrote it in my journal. Then, the next day, I picked up the writing book again (the one that was written from the Aerie), and started a new chapter. I was astounded to find that the section was devoted to my new favourite word. Serendipity.And what a discovery this was too! This writer made sense of the word. She called it "A happy accident." I grew fonder of this word in an instant. I guess Serendipity is a way to describe this thing when it happens...when I stumble upon a new word after I've only just met it. Now, do I have an aptitude for this, or does it happen to everybody?
"Serendipity is not so simple as luck. It is the result of a conscious forging of links. The writer becomes a participant in each act of a happy accident." Jane Yolen