Thursday, May 25, 2006

"the rising sap of the silver birch"

Serendipity led me to Scotland and then led me down the aisle in New Harmony, Indiana and back to Scotland and now it has led me to Aberdeen and a glass of white wine made from the rising sap of the silver birch. Poetry on a wine label. The wine is from Orkney. The vikings there are, as always, both poets and shrewd businessmen.

After a little more than a year of working hard to learn the basics like how to make a phone call, buy groceries, turn on lights, and even how to dress for weather that beggared my imagination, I was beginning to get restless. Even the challenges of learning when to stand up to a cow and when to run away were taking less adrenalin than before. Evenings at the Tuesday sewing group, knitting with a good new friend, and coffee with other newcomers all helped to make me understand the world I was now in but also raised that restlessness of wanting something to write me into this new world as a full scale player rather than an observer.

I was delighted to be called to help out at a coffee morning. Although I had no idea what it was, I am so eager to be invited to participate that I say yes and then muddle my way through it. A coffee morning is a combination of rummage sale and cafe. I was asked to put plates of pastries on the tables. I finished that and asked for more to do:
"Can you put the fairy cakes on a plate?"
"Sure!" then "What are fairy cakes?"
we all shared a laugh in the little kitchen. One other woman said the term was new to her, too, and I got the plates loaded and went out again in search of another job. It was good to have a laugh, but when I don't know a word it sometimes shakes the fragile hold I have on who I am.

I am assigned the book and knitting table. That is an enormous relief. I know about books and knitting. I am even bilingual about knitting. A woman with two lively kids in tow comes to the table. She knows me but I am struggling to put context and name together and then it clicks. She hands me her card. She has changed jobs and is working in renewable energy. My eyes light up. I think there might be a connection there. I tell her I will send a link to my blog and that I would like to know more about her new job.

I email and suggest we do lunch. I am at heart a very shy person. Only people who know me well believe this because I have a well practiced outgoing veneer. In an instant I can revert to the new kid in class looking to have someone to play with at recess. Fortunately, my friend accepts and over dessert she suggests a job for which I might apply.

From that suggestion, we shift into rapid fire motion: First, to meet the person who has the position, to her office to read the job description, and then back again for an ad hoc interview. All this in time for her to pick up her daughter at school. I have not moved that fast since I left the United States. I have not been as excited about working in a long, long time, but most importantly I find that my hunch-playing gyroscope appears to have realigned itself for this new geographic location so that serendipity can find me.


At 6:02 PM, Anonymous molly gunason said...

I know hoe hard that was. Something you wanted to be involved in,yet so very afraid you would be out of place. Just keep on trucking

At 12:52 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Sometimes when I need to be brave I think about you. Do you miss barrel racing? Do you ride horses any more?
You should ride about the view from the cab of a truck. You definitely have stories to tell.

At 8:43 PM, Blogger ZACL said...

My adult life has been full of serendipity and our house bears that name.

Well done you!

At 10:09 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Serendipity as a house name suggests a story we need to share ove a couple cups of coffee. Serendipity is something I learned about from a dear friend of mine, David B., one of the wisest people I was ever lucky enough to meet.


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