Today, you were meant to read this. We were meant to share our â€œhearts and soul.â€
Chep Lap Kok Airport, January 18, 1999
Here I am, safely ensconced in my favorite window seat, waiting for my plane to proceed to Manila. My United Airlines flight no.1 from Los Angeles had arrived safely in Hong Kong last night. Iâ€™m so drowsy, yet excited about arriving in Cebu this afternoon.
Last night, when we deplaned in Hong Kong, I found out that I had missed my connecting plane to Manila. When the friendly customer service representative asked me if I wanted to check in at a hotel, I crankily retorted, â€œWhat? And stay there for only five hours? No way! Is there any lounge I can stay in and freshen up? I would rather stay in the airport.â€ He decided to give me an introduction card to an airport lounge, warning me that it closed at midnight. It was almost 11:00 p.m.
As I turned to walk down the monotonous gray carpets, a tall, dark stranger called out to me hesitantly. â€œExcuse me, Miss, but I couldnâ€™t help overhearing your conversation. Are you on your way to Manila, too?â€ I turned around. The stranger looked like a typical corporate jet setter, poised and confident. Iâ€™ve always been aware of my uncanny ability to size up people immediately. Not that first impressions always counted, it was â€œfirst feelingsâ€ or â€œfirst connections.â€ This felt right.
â€œYes, I am,â€ I replied, smiling politely. He looked relieved.
â€œI was wondering, if you donâ€™t mind, if we could buddy up here at the airport,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s my first trip to Manila. Do you know your way around here?â€ Of course, I did.
His name was Rajiv, a top-ranking executive for a major corporation that handled brand-name hotel franchises. As we made our way to the public phone booths to call our spouses, I wondered how a total stranger could choose me, of all people, to be his airport companion for the next seven hours. We started talking and couldnâ€™t stop talking. When Rajiv mentioned the names of his contacts in Manila, I laughed. â€œWhat a coincidence! My parents, in the early 1970â€™s, did some business with your hosts.â€
As Rajiv and I sat in an empty restaurant, a sari-clad, older woman made her way to our table. She had been attracted to our laughter. Radhi was another passenger, on her way to Bombay, who chose to stay at the airport. We could feel the mental electricity in the air as we shared private thoughts and fears with each other. â€œSometimes, I have the most profound experiences in airports. Why does this happen to us?â€ I asked Rajiv.
â€œBecause we were meant to meet. Events are meant to happen. This is synchronicity. People call it â€˜meaningful coincidencesâ€™ yet I think we are meant to be in the right place at the right time. Do you remember the last time you were thinking about a friend and not a minute later, you get a surprise phone call from her? When two people sometimes meet each other for the first time and feel like theyâ€™ve known each other all their lives, isnâ€™t that synchronicity, too?â€ Rajiv paused. â€œOr, during those most desperate moments in your familyâ€™s search to find a cure for your brotherâ€™s leukemia last year, did you not think it was fortuitous that the lack of money stopped being a problem when he qualified for a free clinical trial at the National Institute of Health?â€
Radhi added, â€œIn other words, Carl Jung said that events bound by synchronicity are connected by similarity, by meaning, by resonance rather than by causality.â€
I understood. â€œWhat you mean to say is that our meeting here at the airport is not an accident, right? You are in my life today because you offer perceptions for my spiritual and psychological growth. Thank you for validating my belief that our lives have meaning.â€
Rajiv nodded. â€œMove forward all the time. Combine this with your faith in God. There will be times when you know that you have attracted a person into your life for a lesson, whether you are aware of it or not. So, you see, synchronicity happens as events occur unexpectedly, or are odd and unusual, yet seem to work together in a strange fashion.â€ The three of us then made a promise to keep in touch by phone or e-mail.
My plane is gliding smoothly down the runway now. As I slowly drift to a nice, relaxing nap, I think about my new friends. Synchronicity, what a lovely word.
Â© Lorna Dietz, February 2000. This was the inside cover page essay in the programme book for EZAA Companyâ€™s musical production, â€œHearts & Soul.â€