This is a short story in the form of a touching email I received recently. It demonstrates how life sometimes comes full circle in odd and delightful ways.
When Dan and I recall all the unusual yet universal connections we've uncovered throughout our travels and life experiences, we often reflect on how “we're all more connected than we think.” However, each time we accept this maxim and settle comfortably into its implications, life surprises us once again in an odd, humbling and inspiring way.
A few weeks ago, we'd just arrived in Berlin, fresh off of speaking at the World Domination Summit (WDS) conference in Portland. Then, I received this email. The story just blew me away, but I hesitated to share it, my inner skeptic saying maybe people won't feel it like I did. But every time I tell the story, listeners are struck.
So it's time to share the story with you.
The only context I think you'll need: When Dan and I left for the first chapter of our lives together abroad in November 2001, we moved from San Francisco to Prague. In slimming down to six bags, one of the many items we divested ourselves of was a maroon 1989 Honda Accord hatchback.
dear audrey and dan,
i saw your presentation at the wds conference in portland last weekend. i'm so glad you were chosen as the impromptu speakers because i thought your presentation was phenomenal! so many of your words resonated with me. we are all connected, indeed.
and i have a suspicion you and i are even more connected than we think…
about ten years ago (or maybe more) when i was living in san francisco, i had purchased a used car from a lovely woman. it was a honda accord in maroon color. i didn't check out too many details of the car because i felt a strong sense of connection with the woman who sold it to me. she said she was moving to prague for an indefinite period of time, and i immediately felt a sense of kinship. i, too, am an avid traveler. when the car purchase was made, i met her husband briefly. he had been reading a book by ken wilber, and i immediately recognized the book.
i always remembered that woman. she left her necklace hanging in the car – it was a round crystal-like piece that shimmered in the sun because of its clear translucent color. at the center, you can see a very subtle “A” inscribed within. it always reminded of the lovely woman, because her name was audrey. after many years after having sold the honda, i kept the necklace with me. it reminded of the lovely woman, and her spirit of luck and grace remained with me. it now sits inside my car, a used diesel volkswagen golf.
after so many years, i believe the wds conference is a very fitting to place to run into the both of you again, if indeed you are the couple i had met in san francisco. i hope to meet again in person soon.
blessings to you both,
We are indeed that couple.
Thank you, Vina for taking time to send this email and for allowing us to publish it. To receive it meant so much to us. It took us back to a very special moment in our lives, when we were in the process of making a rather frightening life leap — moving to a new country without jobs or security of any kind.
That initial leap was the first of many that led us to where we are today.
The lesson? Life is full of coincidence, of course. But well beyond that, if there's no other reason to be a decent person, it might be this: you'll make impressions and those impressions will take on a life of their own. They may last longer than you can ever imagine, and maybe they'll come back to make you smile one day.
We are all more connected than we think.
This, I'm certain, is a good thing.