My daughter Lucy and I traveled to Ireland last summer. It was enchanting, bucolic and surprisingly playful (the Irish are, after all, carriers of the “play gene” and wear it on their sleeve). One day in particular always stays with me; our visit to Kinsale on the southern coast of Ireland.
We were traveling with a group of 50 of our newest, “nearest and dearest” best friends—about 7 families from all over the US. The lot of us walked the village by the sea, played in the beautiful public playground and visited a pottery studio where we worked on the potting wheel and engaged in free form creativity with clay. It was joyful seeing adults immersed in this form of exploration for a change--several aiming for perfection, others giddy about what they had created.
After a beautiful “farm to table” lunch (although in Ireland it’s just called lunch) several of the kiddos, Lucy included, ran off to climb and play in the trees (as children do sans device).
Fortunate enough to capture this moment of my daughter’s freefall into fun, I walked over to a nearby old stone wall to sit and drink in the moment--to seal it in my soul forever. As I breathed in the panoramic countryside, I looked down and saw this:
This coin, simply laying right next to me on the stone wall, captured my eye immediately. Weathered, beaten up and oxidized beyond immediate recognition—it appeared as it had fallen out of someone’s pocket centuries before, and had since remained in that very spot. I couldn’t believe someone hadn't discovered it. I picked it up, looked it over and considered it a lucky talisman for a lucky girl on a glorious day of good fortune. Queue the little dancing elves...I was certain they would magically appear. And then I placed it in my pocket and I carried it with me for the rest of the trip.
I’ve traveled to many places, but this adventure with my daughter was one of the best I’ve been on; so many moments captured in my mind and my heart. The trip did not, coincidentally, begin on a favorable note. My husband, Lucy’s dad, was supposed to be with us on this trip but he had been sick the previous week and relapsed with severe intestinal pain at the terminal while we were boarding the plane. He decided it was best not to board. As we walked onto the jet way, my face mixed with emotion and confusion about what to say or do, I looked over at my daughter who then said this: “plot shift, move on!” And so we did.
We missed having her dad with us, but it was a reminder that life throws you curve balls, and yet delight can still find its way in. Serendipity presents itself in all forms—and with good reason. I believe that most of the magic lies in not knowing when and how things will happen. You embrace courage and curiosity – and the joy of unexpectedly finding a lucky 1863 British Half Penny is yours!
This treasure will always remind me to embrace serendipity and face set backs with courage--and that joy will eventually prevail.
We'd love to hear your stories about finding a special and unexpected treasure or talisman along your travels in life--and the meaning it has brought to your life!