Chance Meetings and a Gem Amongst the Pebbles

It was November 17 and I was standing in a pasture just outside of a cut corn field. Although the sky was dark there was no threat of rain. A steady wind cut across the valley and slapped me in the side of the face. It made the temperature feel 10 degrees colder than it actually was.

As I stood there I could hear a distant hum of dirt beneath the tires of a m0ving vehicle. When the noise grew louder I could see a full-size white pick-up truck  slowly approaching from the tractor road that ran along the side of the field. I didn’t recognize the truck or the two people in it.

A young guy, who I guessed was the farm-hand, and his buddy pulled up beside me and started shooting the breeze. I quickly noticed the driver’s features. He was a young man of about 30. He was unshaven and had a long, reddish brown goatee that peaked at the end. I must say that he had a unique look, almost unforgettable.  Even with a quick glance his image could easily burn into anyone’s memory.

When he reached forward and presented his hand for a friendly hand-shake something struck me that made my heart skip a beat.

A few years earlier I started writing a novel. Since I had a lot of extra time I figured I would get a jump on it and see where the road would lead me. I wanted to be very particular with my characters and their names. I sat on my couch in complete silence trying to find a name that I thought would be fitting for my main character. As names came and went I couldn’t find anything that really stuck.

Then, one night I woke up in the middle of a dream. The name was on the tip of my tongue. I quickly jumped out of bed and reached for a pen and piece of paper on my desk. I glanced at the clock and it read 3:10. I scribbled the name on the paper and clicked the light off. Within seconds  I was fast asleep.

The next evening I started writing my novel. Now, I had my character and away I went. I knew that once I had a good start I could come back to it at any time and continue my journey to the top of the mountain.

Well, time has gotten in the way and I had to push the novel aside in order to write and publish my first book on hunting. The book is filled with real-life stories and was very easy to write.

As I extended my hand and it met his, he didn’t have the hand-shake that I expected. I thought it would be very firm and rugged. Instead, it was a nice easy shake. Then, he introduced himself.

I stood there motionless and speechless. I’m not sure what he thought or even if he recognized it. When his lips moved and his name came forth he was the character in my book. His name was exactly the same. How was this possible? When I picked the name it came from nowhere. I didn’t know how or why I picked it, but now I was staring at a real live human being who had the same exact name.

He didn’t fit the description of my main character. As a matter of fact he wasn’t remotely similar, but the name was unmistakable. I didn’t ask him to repeat it because I heard it just fine the first time.

I haven’t thought about that day a whole lot until just recently. I realized how unique some meetings are. People are sent to us and it’s our job to find out what purpose they will serve in our lives. Some people are sent to help us through hard times, others are sent to make us laugh, while others are there to break our hearts. Each and every person we come in contact with has their own place in our world.

Every once in a while we meet that one person that we are absolutely certain we’re not supposed to miss. It’s almost like our prayers have been answered and they couldn’t have appeared at a better time.

Then, sometimes the person might appear at a great time to help us with something, but the wrong time for everything else. Life is funny about things like that. That’s why we should never get too far ahead of ourselves. We should take things at the speed that they happen and not rush forward. If we are patient things will play out the way they’re supposed to. The situation might bring us happiness or heartbreak or both, but we can’t force the issue.

A few days before the incident I wrote about above, one of my good friends had a similar situation happen to him. He had been working on a novel for the last handful of years. Earlier in the fall he had completed the book and sent it to the printer.

His book was a novel about hunting in the Adirondacks. He was on a personal and spiritual journey at the same time. As he tracked the buck he was after he eventually became close to him in a spiritual way. He called him Old Lefty because the buck had a chip in his left hoof.

Eventually he caught up to Old Lefty and completed his quest, both spiritually and personally. The buck sported 9 beautiful points on his rack.

Well, the same week I met the main character in my novel, my buddy met Old Lefty. His long-time hunting buddy who is a character in the book shot a nice buck that week. It was a main frame 9-pointer with a chip in his hoof. How ironic is that?

Sometimes the things that happen to us are beyond amazing. If we think about things long enough and hard enough they sometimes become a reality.

The last couple of weeks I can’t get these couple of things out of my head. When I met my character I knew instantly why I met him, but I haven’t been able to find out why he was sent to me if that makes sense.

I’ve met a few really significant people since early fall. That happens when you travel a lot. The more contact you have with people the better the chance you have of meeting a really unique person.

I’m still searching for an answer for a few of them. Sometimes the timing of the meeting makes the meeting much harder to comprehend. It seems as if the person appears just a little too late or a little too early. There are times that I wish I had the power to turn back time. If I could turn back time right now I would do it to help someone other than myself. If I had the power to do it, it might even give me everything I ever needed out of life. It’s so hard to tell.  Since our days are so limited I never want to rush forward because I thoroughly enjoy every day.

For now I keep flowing down the river like a drop of water. As I’ve said before, it’s a long and winding journey to the ocean. I will be battered against the rocks, tossed against logs and sent free-falling down waterfalls, but I will arrive in the ocean one day. I won’t try to find or force my way there. Instead, I’ll keep floating and know that the current of the river is in control. Hope will carry me where I want to go and my patience will be rewarded even if it requires a very long wait.

I often wonder if some people close to me have encountered situations like I’ve explained above. Have I ever been someone like my main character was to me? Has anyone ever met me and thought “He was sent to me for a reason?”

It’s probably one of those things that I will never know, but it’s kind of neat to imagine. Was II an established character in a novel before someone met me or was I a godsend for someone who needed some hope? I’m pretty sure I’m not a character because I have a rather boring name so I guess I’ll just hope that I was a hidden gem amongst a beach full of pebbles. Just maybe someone kicked away the lifeless pebbles and gently placed me in the palm of their hand for good luck on their journey. I can only hope so because I would love to go along for the ride.

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