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Debbie's Digest: Precision required

I watched over a small turtle crossing the road recently and the act left me with an inner glow. Perhaps it would have survived the traveling traffic, but I like to think it truly needed my assistance.

I watched over a small turtle crossing the road recently and the act left me with an inner glow. Perhaps it would have survived the traveling traffic, but I like to think it truly needed my assistance.

It also made me think a bit.

Because I came across the reptile at precisely the time I did, I saw the slow-moving turtle, no bigger than a softball, traveling from the water to where she could lay her eggs.

While I could not stick around to witness the entire process, I like to believe she made it safely back to the lake; and as the circle of life completed itself, that several of her babies also survived the trek across the highway in search of water.

This incident reminded me of another event a number of years ago while I was waiting for a flight out of the Minneapolis airport. Both served as a reminder that fate plays with us in mysterious ways.

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Boarding pass in hand, I had walked to my gate, F7, thankful that it was close for a change. I usually had to hike miles through the airport to the furthest gate when I flew out to see my family on Cape Cod, Mass.

As I sat reading, munching my way through a small bag of Doritos, I happened to glanced up from my book and saw a woman I knew walking rapidly to her seat. Usually, the faces of the multitude of people in the airport are nameless, causing me to wonder about their stories: who are they, where are they going, who will meet them at the other end of their trip.

This time, however, I was pretty sure I knew the woman. She and her husband had operated a photography business for many years in my hometown but had moved away after their daughter graduated from high school.

I quickly gathered my stuff together, keeping my eye on her, and dashed to the next waiting area where she was sitting.

I presented myself in front of her and we hugged, as we quickly exchanged business cards and travel plans - they were being called to board a flight to Seattle, Wash., for a vacation with family.

The entire encounter lasted less than a few minutes.

I returned to my seat with fond memories of our friendship passing through my mind as I pulled my ticket out for one last check of my gate number - and realized I was at the wrong gate with only 30 minutes remaining before my departure time.

Quickly collecting my stuff again, I started the mad dash across the terminal because my departure gate was miles away at the furthest gate, thinking as I ran that I had been in the right place at precisely the right time.

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These two incidences reaffirmed for me that our days are made up of moments - some good, some not so good - and that coincidences aren’t real. Things happen in our lives, based on our actions, that lead us to where we are supposed to be.

A departure at just the right moment left me feeling like I had a place in the universe, or at the least, in the circle of life, and I carry the feeling and the memory with me even today.

A misread boarding  pass brought me in touch with someone from my past. Sure I had a heckuva hike and barely made my plane, but it was a worthwhile error to make, as mistakes go.

I wonder now how many opportunities for a connection I’ve missed because I didn’t do something at precisely the right time …

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