Seeking Serendipity


“We don’t make mistakes; we have happy accidents.” ~Bob Ross

The man who popularized “happy little trees” in his television painting class truly mastered the art of gentle optimism. He reminded us that events may surprise us and work out beautifully, in spite of our foibles.  He knew that we needed to hear that, bless him.  He also knew that much of creativity is recognizing the solution when it is before you (I recall my high school art teacher, Mr. Leckie, persuading a panicked classmate to improvise on an ink blot upon her carefully crosshatched and stippled sphinx.  It turned out wonderfully.)

The painting above is based upon Mama’s word choice, “serendipity”.  What a happy word!  Our Webster’s Unabridged says that serendipity is “the faculty for making desirable discoveries by accident.”  It was coined by Horace Walpole to describe the knack of the heroes of The Three Princes of Serendip (Serendip being a former name of Ceylon, which is a former name of Sri Lanka.  So one might call one’s Ceylon Tea, Serendip-i-tea.)

In this little painting, the scene could be set for a fairy wedding.  In fact, Queen Anne’s Lace blossoms, being free and abundant, were scattered at our own wedding.  The feather has just descended softly, like a blue flash – much as serendipity dawns upon us.  Note, serendipity is not so much a lucky happenstance, as it is our capacity to act upon it.


My delicious new coffee from Judy at Southland Perk is called After Midnight.   Local roaster, Nate, stumbled upon this great taste in a late night happy accident.  He roasted one of his regular blends longer than intended, and, voila.  The result is an excellent brew!

Around The Bend

May you see serendipity peering ’round every bend.  If it is too shy to jump out at you, then smile.  Serendipity loves an optimist.

Write a good one!




Seeking Serendipity — 9 Comments

  1. So many happy memories packed into one post! I remember the calm wonder of watching Bob Ross’s dabs & flicks of the brush turn into serene portraits of nature. I remember Mr. Leckie’s art class (aka 1 hour of quiet vacation/therapy.) I remember your peaceful & beautiful outdoor wedding with the unmatched backdrop of nature. Lovely memories & lovely couple! Happy Anniversary this week!

  2. Love my serendipity artwork & discussion! Provocative observations. I, like Effie, enjoyed the quiet, natural surroundings of your wedding & ditto the anniversary wishes. 🙂

  3. Happy Anniversary, Holly & Jason! I didn’t attend your wedding, but definitely remember the wonderful reception at Cynthia’s house, outside under the shade of the trees, with other family!
    Also, love the drawing and words about serendipity, a wonderful word and thought!

  4. I believe in Cynthia’s chosen word, as I am confident I have experienced multiple serendipitous events in my life – some in fact that may have saved my life or the lives of loved ones!

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