“Coincidence: a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection”
Oxford Dictionary of English
A coincidence can be just about anything. It can be a significant event that will change your life; it can be a little surprise that will brighten up your day. It can bring you happiness; it can be an unfortunate circumstance. It can take you back to the past, or it can open up new horizons. It can lead you to discovering new places, or making new friends.
Recently I found myself appreciating several happy coincidences. My partner Martin and I had been planning a road trip to America for a few months. We changed our plans and altered the route several times until we were happy with the final decisions. In the meantime my photographic journey changed the direction based on my decision to renew my passion for landscapes. It led me to meeting several online photographer friends from different parts of the world. To my surprise one of them, Deborah Hughes came from Moab. A place we had decided to make our base for a couple of days to explore the Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.
I had been following Deborah and admiring her beautiful work and unique way of seeing for a while. Through her photography, writing and poetry I started to get to know her and the world she lived in. The opportunity to meet her in person seemed to be too good to be true. Fortunately Deborah was free and we arranged not only a dinner, but Deborah very kindly offered to take us for a hike in one of her favourite places.
And just when I thought it could not get any better than this, two days before our leaving I found out that another photographer friend, Sue Bishop was also travelling to America. At the same time as Martin and I. Sue was running a photography workshop and their itinerary included one night in Moab. The night of our dinner with Deborah. It could not have worked better if we had planned it in advance.
Sue is also an amazing artist, and I had always admired the way she captured the world around her, big or small, with a subtlety that is all her very own. I was also very fortunate to meet her in person in the past, and appreciate her kind nature, modest personality and beautiful character. All three of us knew each other through social media and through our group Landscapes by Women; and now we were presented with the most amazing opportunity to share our thoughts on photography, art, writing and life in general in person. What a wonderful evening. What a happiest coincidence.
The next day Sue headed off with her group to spend a night under the starry sky in the Monument Valley; and Deborah, Martin and I left for Deborah’s secret little canyon. We spent a few wonderful hours wandering around, observing the ever changing river bed, and capturing fascinating shapes carved in the rock by flash floods, water pools and sandscapes sculpted by the power of water. We took our time to stop and enjoy the natural wonder all around us, to share our thoughts and ideas. I loved watching Deborah in her element. Her connection with nature is very obvious from her work, both visual and written, and now I had an opportunity to see it with my own eyes. Since then, every time I see her photographs, I can just imagine how she took them. I can now see not only her work but the beautiful person she is.
I don’t know what kind of power creates the opportunities on our journey through life. I don’t think I will ever understand the mechanics behind the wheel of life. But is knowing always important? Do we really need to know why? I don’t ask these questions any more. Instead I simply enjoy these moments that are given to me. I treasure them like little keepsakes that bring a smile to my face every time I think of them.
If you would like to see more of Sue’s and Deborah’s work, please follow the links below: