© 2023 Robert Sickles
Speaking of Gravitational Fields, Nonlocality, Entanglement, Layers of the Onion, the ever-unfolding Lotus Blossom, the Tree of Life, Divine Order and Karma… it reminds me of how Linda and I met 45 years ago. Let me reflect on how I’ve moved from being a fact-believer into a truth-knower.
Two planets come in close proximity occasionally as they circle their sun, slightly nudging each other’s orbits. It’s conceivable that someday they will collide or cause each other to veer into or away from their sun… or, maybe they’ll become one and spin happily ever after.
How It Actually Happened
I was in charge of transporting and tuning a keyboard instrument for a friend’s concert at the Unitarian Church. During the after-party at someone’s nearby home, I gravitated toward Linda whom I'd noticed in the concert audience with her friend. We came from very different backgrounds, but talking and flirting seemed very natural—I thought we got along very well and I wondered if I would ever see her again. Did I ask for her number? No, my sudden lack of confidence pretty much convinced me she was out of my league.
Tossing and turning through the night, I awoke to my senses the next morning, and it took just four phone calls to hear Linda's sweet voice again. Interestingly, each person I spoke with was not only able to help, but it was like they expected to hear from me! I first phoned my musician friend and explained my predicament. "Ginger, do you know who Linda is? She's someone I was interested last night at the after-party."
"No, but I know the party was at Nan's place... and yeah, I noticed you and that cute Linda enjoying each other!" Ginger gave me Nan's phone number.
On my next call I started to tell the story again, but Nan interrupted with a huff, "Right. The blonde number?"
Why the attitude? I don't know, I held my tongue except to say "Yup." Nan knew the number of Susan, the friend who brought Linda to the concert.
Third call. Susan giggled, "Oh, I was wondering about you and Linda. I think she's waiting for your call!"
And... Eureka! Linda and I conversed easily for hours and began a swift-moving relationship. She brought her daughters, family and friends into my life. Linda and I married one year later, and through thick and thin we are happy and 45 years older. A series of miracles, to be sure.
I should leave it there, right? But I’ve always been intrigued by the potential ways we could have met much earlier. Despite the apparent wide separation of our orbits, it turns out we were within only a few degrees of each other in at least three possible scenarios. Here are alternate outcomes in alternate universes—or lip-doodling, as Linda might call it.
While in college I did a work-study gig at the lab of an archeology professor. I worked with her to analyze the seasonal diet of a prehistoric fishing village near the Washington coast. My dusty work was to sort shell, bone and other discarded material from dozens of bags of matter brought from the trash heap, or as archeologists call it, “the kitchen midden.”
When summer came, it was time for the professor to resume work at her dig, and I wanted to go out there and participate. At first, there was not an opening. But thanks to a meltdown tantrum of her gofer-cook-handyman, I was able to slip into for just a few days to hold things together until a more experienced grad student became available.
My biggest contribution on day one was to cook a huge pot of chili for the crew. But first I had to drive into town for groceries and to get several pounds of ground beef from the dig’s meat locker, located in a country store across Skagit Valley.
At that store, I remember clearly, the shopkeeper was a red-haired man who was curt and seemed very suspicious of hippie-looking me. His eyes followed me around the store, obviously on the lookout for shoplifting. Coincidence? Only 8 years later he and his wife would become my in-laws.
Linda would have looked quickly the other way if she'd run into scruffy me at her father’s store that day; she was busy with her first marriage and having babies! It wasn't time yet.
In the next episode of “How I Almost Met Linda,” I need to use several WHAT-IF’s; but this story is at least as plausible as having all of the planets visible in the same arc of sky, a very rare Grand Alignment! I missed the last one in 2022, so I’ve marked my calendar for the next one on May 6, 2492. And if I prefer the planets to be in a proper straight line, that occurs once in about 396 billion years. I fear I may miss that one. Yeah, yeah, I know, my astronomy lesson is not the best tie-in.
In getting to know Linda, I learned that after she broke up with him, Linda’s high school boyfriend went on to become an archeologist, who conducted a dig at a prehistoric Native American site in northwestern Washington. (no, not the one I worked on.) IF she’d stuck with him, and IF I had remained in archeology studies, there’s a chance Linda and I would have seen each other, like at a cocktails soirée for local archeologists. I mean, IF that sort of thing even happens.
It's the 1973 Northwest Archeologist of the Year Award Banquet. Imagine me in my tweed jacket with elbow patches, now a grad student in archeology. Not too much aftershave. After a martini or two, I’m schmoozing with lovely Ms. Linda, who is attending the banquet as a friend of the award recipient. She smiles, "Oh wow, you're a Libra too?"
The Holy Encounter
Soon after Linda and I met, we found that we'd been interested in similar spiritual beliefs and had attended the same church, only in different cities. Eventually, we did start to attend weekly services together, and the study of other spiritual teachings became part of our bond.
One more IF, if you please… Go back months or years before we actually met. Our two congregations occasionally held joint services. We could have been sitting near each other or holding hands in a song circle. Wow, could it have been Linda's singing that I noticed, and her hand in mine? Crikey!
Looking For Your Missing Piece
So, if two people are supposed to meet, an Omniscient and Capricious Matchmaker keeps trying to set up opportune meetings, wagering on when the individuals will finally glance at each other. Everyone has different criteria for when that first meeting will occur. Adding astrology to the mix, the planets and stars have a lot to do with everything, too.
Maybe we’re attracted to someone simply because we simply remember seeing them before, or they sweetly remind us of someone or somewhere, like when her plumeria fragrance takes you back to a Kauai garden. Or because in some instinct area of our brains, or out on some branch of our family tree, sequenced in our DNA, or woven into a karmic carpet, we’re just destined to meet.
In one version of the system of reincarnation of souls, we’re all like members of an improv cast who switch hats for different roles in each skit. In some lives we’re pals, other times enemies, now a Danish milkmaid, then a Cherokee grandfather. Greg, that guy who went ape when you barely let your cart bump his car in the Walmart parking lot? He was the vice principal in your high school, the one who gave you 2 weeks of detention.
We all go way back. So we shouldn't be surprised that we get involved with someone, considering all the times we've performed together on life's stage. Instead of "Pleased to meet you," we could be saying "Ah, there you are, I was wondering where you'd show up!"
It’s our 45th year together, and in case I haven’t made it known, I love this woman dearly. Linda lights my way, hears my heart, gets my humor, and sees my spirit. She reveals her truth, shares her joy, and gives and receives love with every breath. She beautifies and manages our home, and shares laughter as we grow and age together.
An all-around champion!
Isn’t Photoshop fun?