It’s said that life is often stranger than fiction, I think this is certainly true of synchronicity: the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. It was first described by Carl Jung in the 1920s.
We’ve all experienced it; you think of someone and within minutes they ring or message you. It doesn’t happen very often but often enough that it makes you think, makes you comment, sometimes makes you smile.
Recently I’ve experienced two weird incidents of synchronicity.
I was leafing through old photograph albums looking for a specific photo I needed. The albums live in a drawer under the bed in a spare room, so it’s not something I do very often; in fact it’s probably two years since I last even opened that drawer – we keep photos digitally now. Inevitably the photo I was seeking wasn’t in the album I thought it was and I soon found myself sidetracked and reminiscing, especially when I came across pictures of old work colleagues who I haven’t seen for over twenty years. There were four of us, all pregnant and we gave birth to our babies within a few weeks of each other. Those pictures made me smile, bringing back happy memories, then I put that album away and got on with my original task. Finally locating the photo I wanted, I closed the drawer and thought no more about it.
Until an hour later when this happened.
My daughter rang me: Did I know an Ellen Cole*?
Me: Yes. Funnily enough I’ve just seen her in an old photo album. Haven’t seen her in person for years. Why do you ask?
My daughter: I know her daughter through a friend of a friend. We’ve just discovered we were in hospital together as newborns.
Me: That’s right.
My daughter: Ellen wants your phone number – she wants to ring you.
Ellen and I spoke on the phone and I told her how I’d spotted her in my old photo album and she said she’d been thinking about me a lot lately – she wasn’t sure why. We plan to meet up in September, once we’ve tracked down the other two in those photos. We both laughed about synchronicity. So now I’m putting out a message to the universe to bring the two other people in the photo back into my life too.
The second incident happened about a week later.
A passport application for a child in the family was causing a few problems mainly because, due to divorces, surnames had been changed over the years and proof had to be supplied.
It made me remember an old friend who, after her divorce, had chosen a new surname entirely, something different and unusual, instead of going back to her original (maiden) name. It set me off reminiscing again – this was also a person I hadn’t seen for years. Then I forgot about it.
Until the next day.
The weather forecast came on our local TV channel and they display a photograph taken by a viewer as a backdrop. They also show the name of the photographer. You’ve guessed it – it was the person I had been talking about the previous day. What are the chances?
Ironically if these situations appeared in a book some readers would say they were farfetched and not true to life – but, as I said at the beginning: Life is stranger than fiction.
When googling the above phrase it appears that many great writers agree with me, including Mark Twain, Lord Byron and Arthur Conan Doyle.