Cosmic Connections – Coincidence Number One

By Dr. Margaret R. O’Keeffe Umanzio


Cosmic Connections 

One Tap At A Time


Coincidence Number One – The Light Tap


This summer my husband, Rich, and I went on a trip.  We traveled on more than one dimension.   On the physical level we traveled to Sicily and Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, Sant Agatha dei Goti and Rome, Italy.  We wanted to see where his father was born and also to see the south of Italy.


When I described our adventure to our friend Anita she said, ” Wow your trip sounds like a magical mystery tour that was planned by some cosmic force on a labyrinth game board to an ancestral and connected jackpot of uncanny coincidences to people and places.  You and Rich seem to attract this to your sphere.”


Growing up on the East Coast in America, we learned Sicilians are not real Italians due to their mixed raced and darker skin.  On top of this sits the shame Italians hold being associated with the Mafia that originated in Sicily. 


We fell madly in love with Sicily.  All of our assumptions were WRONG.  We traveled from the West coast to the center and onto the East Coast of the island.


Sicily is breathtaking: it is the very best of Italy and the Greek Isles combined.  It is a living museum.  Each monument, amphitheater and museum tells the story of invasions by Romans, Greeks, Turks, Brits, Africans, Arabs, Muslims, Phoenicians, Normans, etc.  Geographically it is the perfect three-pointed location for conquerors.  Consequently, the people are misto: dark skin with blue eyes, light skin with black hair and black eyes, red hair with green eyes, blond hair with amber skin and on.  Most importantly, they are SOUL SEARCHERS: they look into your eyes.  They want to know.


In Sicily, although we were part of Go Ahead Tours, a tour group from Cambridge Mass., We arrived in Sicily one day earlier and stayed a couple of days longer at the end.  As we waited to be checked into our hotel in Palermo the woman in front of us turned around and asked if we were part of the tour group.  Her name is Barbara M from NYC.  The next day we joined our group for dinner.  Barbara sat next to me.  She mentioned how on her fathers’ side she never met any relatives and how her surname was spelled differently.  I learned years ago, when I did my White Roots Search, in Ireland there is a tradition of repeating the first names in a pattern.


I asked, ” What is your father’s first name.”


Barbara replied, “Patrick.”


I told Barbara about our dear friend, Dianna M, in San Francisco who worked with me.  She had Barbara’s surname and her father had Barbara’s fathers’ Christian name.  I immediately emailed Dianna, she responded and said her aunt researched the family back to the 1400’s and they were at her disposal.  Barbara was amazed with the coincidence.  The door is now open for her to explore her father’s ancestral history.


3 Responses to “Cosmic Connections – Coincidence Number One”

  1. Alan Briskin | 08.16.12 at 12:46 PM said…

    The postings and responses suggest that while co-incidences exist, there can be a sequence of events that are no longer mere co-incidence. The chance encounters and seemingly unrelated connections, when regarded with respect, reveal the underlying mystery and meaning of our interconnectedness.

  2. Tom Sheehan | 08.15.12 at 7:16 PM said…

    Dear Dr. Margaret R. O’Keeffe Umanzio,

    How that name filters through my mouth not like a pudding but an opulent roast of a meal.

    Loved the search and grasp at roots and makes me think of my childhood watching the
    mushroom seekers come into Cliftondale Square for mushrooms hidden on the high limbs
    of elm trees. Oh, the scene they made, the songs they sang, the colors they wore, the ripe
    dinners that were promised from their searches, which I append here, so long in my mind,
    the colors still visible, the mystic tastes conveyed. The two of you found there what Beth
    and I found in Ireland: the marvels of roots, gastronomically transposed here below.

    Marvelous stuff you send to me, sharing at its best; the pictures begin for me of where I’ve
    never been, but somehow knew.


    Searching for Mushrooms and Trolley Cars,
    (Amanita Colyptraderma and Electric Street Cars)
    Tom Sheehan
    They came out of West Lynn or East Saugus years ago, dark mushroom seekers, with their long-pieced poles, their own language whose word for amanita, to the initiate, would tell where their roots began, whether they were Florentine, Roman, or islander, Piana di Cartania. They might say Cocoli, Coconi or Coccori, the delicacies growing thirty or forty feet up on the great elms in the circled green of Cliftondale Square, those huge sky-reaching elms that fell to the hurricanes of ’38, or Carol in the ‘50s, finally to the toll of traffic demanding the green circle be cut down to size.
    Once, in a thick fog, on my third floor porch, the mist yet memorable, I remember thinking the elms were Gardens in the Clouds. I felt a bloom rise in me, a taste fill my mouth.
    They don’t come for amanita anymore because the elms have all gone, those lofty gardens, those mighty furrowed limbs; now shrubs and bushes stand in their place you can almost see over.
    Nor do the street cars come anymore from Lynn into Cliftondale Square. They say the old yellow and orange ones, high black-banded ones, red-roofed ones, real noisy ones, ones long-electric-armed at each end, the ones off the Lynn-Saugus run, are in Brazil or Argentina or the street car museum in Kennebunkport, Maine, quiet now forever as far as we are concerned, those clanging, rollicking machines that flattened pennies on the tracks so that good Old Abe became a complete mystery, or the Indian Chief, him and his background, became as flat and as charmless as his reservation.
    From my porch high on the square, I’d watch thin long poles extending men’s arms, needles of poles they’d fit together, as they reached for the white-gray knobs growing in cloudy limbs. They wore red or blue kerchiefs around thick necks, like Saturday’s movie cowboys if you could believe it, as if any moment they could slip them over their faces and hide out in such bright disguises. They’d cut or tap loose the amanita, see it fall slowly end over end, like a field goal or a touchdown’s point-after, down out of the upper limbs, cutting a slowest curve and halved orbit, and they’d swish butterfly nets to catch the aerial amanita, or Cocoli, as it might be; or their women, in kerchiefs and drawn in and almost hidden away, faces almost invisible, with an upward sweep of gay aprons would catch the somersaulting fungi, the amanita colyptraderma, or being from Piana di Cartania, calling out its name Coconi or Coccori,
    Oh, Mediterranean’s rich song airing itself across the green grass of Cliftondale Square, Brahminville being braced, uplifted.
    I was never privy to know their roots, their harsh voyages, to know where they landed and why, and now their sounds are lost forever, their voices across the square, the gay and high-pitched yells setting a brazen mist on Cliftondale, their glee as a soft white clump of fungi went loose from its roost, coming down to net, swung apron, or quick hat as if a magician worked on stage in the square, heading for Russula Delica, Cocoli Trippati, Veal Scaloppine, Mushroom Trifolati, Risotto Milanaise or plain old Brodo dei Funghi.
    All these years later I know the heavens of their kitchens, the sweet blast front hallways could loose, how sauce pots fired up your nose, how hunger could begin on a full stomach when Mrs. Forti cooked or Mrs.Tedeschi or Mrs.Tura way over there at the foot of Vinegar Hill feeding her gang of seven and their guests.
    And I grasp for the clang-clang of the trolley cars, the all-metallic timpani of their short existence, the clash of rods and bars stretching to the nth degree, of iron wheel on iron rail echoing to where we ear-waited up the line with fire crackers’ or torpedoes’ quick explosions, and the whole jangling car shaking like a vital Liberty Ship I’d come to know intimately years later on a dreadful change of tide.
    How comfortable now would be those hard wooden seats whose thick enamel paint peeled off by a fingernail as I left her initials and mine on the back of a seat, wondering if today someone in Buenos Aires or Brasilia rubs an index finger across the pair of us that has not been together for more than sixty years. But somehow, in the gray air today, in a vault of lost music carrying itself from the other end of town, that pairing continues, and the amanita, with its dark song-rich gardeners, though I taste it rarely these days, and the shaky ride the streetcars gave, for all of a nickel on an often-early evening, softest yet in late May, give away the iron cries and, oh, that rich Italiana.
    Once on a sheer edge of moonlight, a reflection hung in my mind of a whole night’s vision, the smell and the sound of it all, the touch of things as they were.

  3. Jude Cassel Williams | 08.13.12 at 6:29 PM said…

    A few years back I was trying to manuver myself out of the depths of despair–my mother’s death, a failed relationship, a career crisis had all converged to make me a candidate for drugs, therapy and a plethora of remedies. Not chosing to indulge in any, a friend invited me to attend a workshop with her, titled “Serendipity, Sychronicity and Magic.” While attending I was reminded of how coincidence is a natural and prevelant universal law at work in our everyday lives, and I realized that in my despair I had forgotten that over the course of my life, coincidence had played a major role in leading me to my future mate, creating a pathway for career moves and connecting with people who would become close friends and colleagues, including my friendship with Ms. Umanzio of the Sicilian adventure. I also learned that if one has the EXPECTATION for coincidence to manifest, it will, with ever more frequency.

    A few days after that lecture, I received a call from an organization I had never heard of, conducting heart/brain research; I took them up on an offer to spend a weekend with them at their mountain retreat site where I learned cutting-edge practices that reduce the negative effects of stress as it is occuring. Putting those methods into practice, I had a breakthrough in eliminating the despair I was suffering from and subsequently paving the way for a renewed belief for a positive future.