One of my all time favorite romantic comedies is Serendipity. If you aren’t familiar with the film it tells the story of two people Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) who fall for each other one night in New York City. The problem is both are dating other people. Jonathan thinks the night was so magical they should leave their significant others and be together, but Sara suggests they leave it up to destiny. She writes her name and number in a book—Love in the Time of Cholera—and he writes his on a five dollar bill and she tells Jonathan that if either of them finds the other’s number, it’s a sign they are meant to be.
The other day I had a big decision to make. After weeks of turning it over in my head I still couldn’t decide what to do. One of my friends finally suggested I ask for a sign.
I am someone who believes in fate, destiny, and signs some days. As an extremely open and curious person there are days I also don’t believe in those things at all. For the past few months, I’d been thinking life was more likely just a series of random events, so I hadn’t been asking for signs when making decisions.
“Why not just try it?” My friend suggested. “You’ve sort of exhausted all other possible ways of deciding what to do.”
I ended up making an owl my sign. I figured the odds of seeing one were slim-to-none in Newport Beach and if I saw one, I told myself it meant I should make the risker decision—the one I honestly wanted to make but was too afraid to.
That day I was very focused on trying to see an owl. I looked everywhere for one, the same way John Cusack, in Serendipity, goes looking for the book Love in the Time Of Cholera after he and Sara part ways following their magical night together. But I didn’t find an owl, the same way John doesn’t find the book.
By the next day I’d forgotten about the owl completely. I was on a date at the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach and walked by a butterfly exhibit filled with preserved, framed butterflies.
Day Date Outfit Details
One of my friends loves butterflies so I stopped into the booth to take a picture for her. The artist manning the booth came up to my date and I and said, “You have to see this one particular butterfly. Its wings are amazing.”
She brought us over to the back wall. Hanging on the wall was a large wooden frame. And inside the frame was a butterfly with wings camaflogued to look exactly like an owl!
What was even crazier was that it didn’t register for me that I had just seen my sign! Maybe because I was happily sipping a beer and not thinking about The Decision I had to make. Or maybe because I was looking at a butterfly and my mind wasn’t making the connection that I had seen the owl I had asked for. So we left and headed to dinner in Laguna Beach.
We ended up at at The Deck, a restaurant perched over the ocean. Now it’s important to note we thought about going to several other places before deciding that The Deck was where we wanted to have dinner.
And once we got there we decided we wouldn’t be staying for dinner after all. It was way too crowded. I only note this because had it not been crowded we would have stayed for dinner and left when it was dark out and had we left when it was dark out what happened next, might not have happened next.
We grabbed one cocktail instead, took in the view, and then gathered our things to head somewhere else for food.
I was two steps ahead of my date on our way out when he pulled my hand. “Look,” he said.
I spun around.
An owl!” He pointed.
There, in a hidden alcove underneath the stairs, was a large owl fixture staring back at me!
I couldn’t believe it. My sign! “Oh my god!” I said.
“What?” He asked.
I briefly filled him in on how I was trying to make a decision and had decided the day before that if I saw an owl I would know what decision to make.
“Well, I think you have an answer. It’s crazy how many owls we’ve seen today!” He reminded me of the butterfly exhibit and the owl there.
Later that day we saw yet another!
One of my favorite quotes is by Ronald Dahls. He said, “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
I think the same can be said of signs. And of serendipitous moments. If you don’t believe in them, you will never find them. And if you look for them they won’t appear. But if you stay open to the magic that surrounds us, you will see that both are all around.