Photo by Brook Anderson on Unsplash

Tangled Up in Blue

Connie Oleksak

I’ve been listening to a random Bob Dylan playlist during my exercise warmup and cooldown. On my warmup, I noticed tangled vines and trees again, like my previous run. During the cooldown, I heard “Tangled Up in Blue.”

A day or two before my run, I had complained to my spouse that I got a blue toothbrush from my dentist. I had wanted orange or purple or pink. During my run, I looked down and noticed a toothbrush head in the dirt — blue. He joked that someone else didn’t like their blue toothbrush. I realized the only car that passed me on the very long section of this run was blue.

The other day, a Facebook post triggered a memory. I sang in my church’s folk group back in the 1970s. On my cooldown walk, Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” played. It was one of the songs we had sung. I heard the word “died” at the same moment I looked down and saw the decaying body of a fox inches from my foot, his mouth open and sharp teeth bared.

During my warmup walk, admiring the trees, I remembered how I had wanted to be a forester and was upset I didn’t get into the forestry program. I cried. After my run, as I wrote down these coincidences, a man on TV said, “can’t see the forest for the trees.”

Soon after, I sat down to continue reading Meaningful Coincidences, Chapter 5. The first page I read was about Roy Sullivan who was struck by lightning seven times. Unusual, but not because he was outside a lot. He was a forest ranger. Tragic story. He became depressed, paranoid about it, and died by suicide. Maybe it was best that I did not become a forester.

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