Three Summertime Wonders
Today’s guest blogger is assistant editor Daniel Kessel.
There’s something about summer that opens us up to seeing the world’s beauty in new ways. My fellow editors have written about some of the unexpected blessings and mysterious happenings they’ve experienced this season, whether it was absorbing the beauty of a side alley in Sweden or touring an ancient city in a single day.
But you don’t have to travel far from home to experience wonder in your life. With August quickly drawing to a close, I’d like to share three Mysterious Moments–tiny glimpses of a higher power at work in our lives–I’ve been fortunate to experience this summer, right from home:
1. The Internet’s Jukebox
Have you ever shared the right thing at the right time? The other day I looked up lyrics to a favorite song by the Swedish singer-songwriter, Jens Lekman. Scanning the comments, I learned that the song samples music from a Brazilian artist I’d never heard of before: Jorge Ben Jor. One click led to another, and soon I was listening to the smooth samba beats of one of his old albums.
I thought of my friend, Joyce, who’s on vacation in France. She would like this, I thought. I emailed her a link to the album, and within minutes, she emailed back. “What on earth? I was listening to Jorge Ben Jor when I opened this! Love that guy! Here’s one of my favorite albums of his…” she wrote, including a link of her own.
I had a gut feeling that Joyce would like this artist, but the fact that she was listening to him right then? I can’t explain that. It didn’t matter that we were halfway across the globe from each other–clearly, we were still connected.
2. Caffeine Fix
I’ll admit it: I probably drink too much coffee! But one weekend night in July, strolling along the beach in Belmar, New Jersey, I felt inspired. I made a bold declaration–that I’d give up coffee completely for a week. It was a personal challenge I felt nudged to take on. For the rest of the weekend I didn’t drink any more coffee, no problem.
But Monday morning rolled around, and I had serious doubts about the challenge. Could I really go all week without a hot drink to warm me up in the mornings? Then I walked into the office kitchen and spotted something out of the ordinary on the counter: A sampler box of tea, left out for everyone in the office to share. I couldn’t wait to try the flavors! I have no idea which generous coworker brought it in, but the soothing pick-me-up came just in time.
3. The Perfectly Timed MetroCard
Two weeks ago, when the bike I usually ride to work was getting a tune-up, I debated whether or not to buy a MetroCard for the week ahead. As any New Yorker can tell you, the days when it only cost a nickel to ride the subway are long gone. Instead of buying the more expensive unlimited weekly Metrocard, I decided to put just enough money on my MetroCard to ride the train to work from Monday, August 11 through Thursday, August 14. By Friday, I’d have my bike again.
That Saturday before work, I got a text from my cousin, who also lives in New York. “I’m leaving to go to the beach tomorrow,” she wrote, “and I have an unlimited MetroCard that expires on the 14th. Do you want it?” I texted back immediately, full of gratitude.
Have you experienced any Mysterious Moments this summer, while traveling or at home? We’d love to hear about it.
Assistant editor Dan Hoffman uses a philosophical “thought experiment” to better understand the case of the color-blind neuroscientist.
Assistant editor Dan Hoffman had a weird week of mysterious moments—what does it mean?