Yesterday morning I was leaving Christ the King Church for the cemetery after celebrating a Requiem Mass. As I made my way through the groups of people chatting outside the church, and as I passed two men in conversation, one of them was mentioning the name "Lynn Jones". I stopped in my tracks, as that was my father's name, and a rare name at that. I hovered for a moment a few feet from them, and established that they were, indeed talking about a teacher from their past. I presumed that they were mentioning him because they knew that I am his son, but instead they looked round at me quizzically, clearly wondering what on earth I wanted. "Excuse me", I explained, "I heard you talking aboutLynn Jones." "Oh yes", one said, "you wouldn't know him though, he was a teacher in Roath Park School years ago." I revealed who I was, and realised that in fact it was a complete coincidence that they were mentioning my dad at that exact moment. They were reminiscing about "the good old days" as we often do after funerals, don't we? Luckily they remembered him fondly, as a good teacher, very funny - but very free with the cane, too.
Moving on rapidly from that last detail, I was instantly filled with memories of my dad who died in 1992. It was so nice to discover that the men were - on the whole - speaking well of him. Strange how we can be taken back instantly, even by an extraordinary coincidence such as that one at a funeral.
Music can also do that. Here is a video of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" being performed by Anne and Nancy Wilson from the band Heart with backing group, orchestra and choir. The three surviving members, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were receiving some award in the Kennedy Arts Center in Washington DC, and the son of John Bonham plays the drums. I'm not a fan usually of tribute performances, but this one is done very well. When the choir comes in, Plant fills up and Page quivers too... Apparently the video went viral when it was released a year ago, but I never caught it. So enjoy - and turn it up! Take a trip back in time to the 70s, and look out too for those time capsule moments in everyday life, that sometimes would be better called not coincidences but God-incidences.