SERENDIPITY

serendipity

Why serendipity, you might ask. I discovered this beautiful word a few years ago and it was a love at first sight. At the time, I was searching for a word or a phrase that would encapsulate my outlook on life.

I wanted to express the randomness and unpredictability of life and how that was a good thing.

It took a while, the right thing just wasn't coming up. Until I came across Freja Beha's arm tattoo. Life has always been serendipitous and now I had a name for it too!

Freja Beha Erichsen // photo by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin for Purple fashion #13 #13

Freja Beha Erichsen // photo by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin for Purple fashion #13

#13

The dictionaries offer a number of definitions, some of which roll off the tongue a lot better than others. My two favourites are:

"The lucky tendency to find interesting or valuable things by chance." Dictionary.cambridge.org

"The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way." Oxforddictionaries.com

The term serendipity was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754 but its usage was rare before the 20th century. Walpole was inspired by the Persian tale 'The Three Princes of Serendip*' in which the heroes 'were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of'.

Serendipity is not a passive concept though, it is not just going to happen, we need to put one and one together and then act upon it. All the great stuff in life would most likely be missed without attention, intellect and a readiness to adopt and change.

Keep your eyes open for whatever might be coming your way and, all along, allow for plenty of flexibility. Because in life, like in architecture or yoga, solid foundation is weak without flexibility.

* Serendip is an old name for Sri Lanka derived from the arabic Sarandib