Merriam-Webster defines coincidence as “the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection.”
Synchronicity is defined as “the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality.” This definition includes the note that this meaning of the term is “used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung.”
I’ve been thinking about these terms because of something that happened to me last week on one of my evening walks.
I was about three-quarters of the way through my walk, on my way back to the apartment where I’m currently staying, when a car pulled up beside me. The woman behind the wheel lowered the passenger side window and said something I couldn’t hear because I hadn’t yet managed to silence the music streaming into my ears from my phone. I shut off the music, apologized, and she repeated her question: “Can you tell me where the Dunwoody Police Station is located? It’s supposed to be on this street.”
I told her I was new to the area myself, so I didn’t really know. But I asked if she had an address.
“It’s number 41,” she said.
I have been walking this same route for about six weeks now, and I had passed signs indicating numbers—41, 47, 53—but I hadn’t noticed anything about a Police Department.
“I think it’s on that side.” I gestured to the other side of the median that separated the opposing lanes of traffic. “Somewhere back in that park area.”
The woman thanked me, I wished her luck, and we both went on our way.
I had walked only about a block more when I found a driver’s license staring up at me from the sidewalk. At first I stepped over it and kept walking. “Some jogger just dropped it and will come back looking for it,” I thought. But then it occurred to me that the person might even live in my building, so I went back and picked up the license to check the address. It was from a neighboring county.
What should I do? I could mail the license to the indicated address, but I didn’t know if that was the best option. So I did what most plugged-in people would do. I took my phone out of my pocket and asked Google: “What do I do with a found driver’s license?”
What do you think the answer was? Yep, you guessed it. Take the license to the police.
So I walked toward the nearest 41, 47, 53 sign and followed the bread crumbs to the Dunwoody Police Department, where I turned the license over to a smiling officer who thanked me for doing the right thing.
Funny how things happen. The woman had stopped to ask me for help, but her question ended up helping me.
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I am the author of the New Adult/Young Adult urban fantasy series, The Light-Bringer:
I have also contributed stories (one fictional and one true) to the following volumes: