The Knock At The Door: A Magic Story

A coincidence? Or something more?

“Did that REALLY just happen?”

It seemed too perfect to be a coincidence. But if not a coincidence… what?

It was the week between Christmas and New Year’s 1998 and I found myself standing at my apartment door, awestruck, holding a piece of paper.

Just earlier, I’d been wrapped in a blanket, cozied up on the couch, lost in the pages of a book as the cold Canadian prairie winter raged outside.

An entirely new thought

When one of the characters in my novel decided to pack up her life and move to a faraway place, I lay the book across my chest, staring off into the distance and contemplated.

“Could I do that? Could I pack up everything and move somewhere… crazy?”

The answer came easily and surprisingly was a very matter-of-fact “Yes. Yes. I could do that.”

I then unceremoniously resumed reading and carried on with my day. But let’s be clear, the idea of packing up my life and moving somewhere wild was a radical idea. An entirely new thought.

To that point, my life went according to plan (a predictable and rather uninspired plan)

Never in my 26 years had I once veered from my life plan:

1) graduate high school and leave my small northern town to

2) go to university in the big city of Winnipeg so I could

3) get a job where I could wear a suit to work.

(Yes. Seriously, that was one of my great ambitions.👩‍💼)

That was the extent of my geographical and professional aspirations and up until that moment, they had suited me just fine.

And that’s why the knock on her door three hours later still reverberated through my bones.

An unexpected opportunity

I’d just opened the door to find my neighbor, who, without preamble, handed me a piece of paper and asked … “Could you do this job?”

There, on the page was my exact job description. I smiled and replied “Yes! That’s what I do!”

The job just so happened to be in the Cayman Islands and the neighbor told me I should apply.

I thanked him for the surprising though thoughtful gesture, and then, just as I closed the door, it struck me.

“Did that REALLY just happen?”

“What was that?”


Had I somehow gone from the idea of moving somewhere wild and new, to creating an opportunity to move in three hours flat?

I didn’t know for sure, but for some time I’d had this sense that there had to be more than the walls and the table and the floor.

Something beyond the mundane and rational world.

Something unseen, and in that moment, on that cold winter day, it had my attention.

“I had this sense that there had to be more than the walls and the table and the floor.”

Joelle Prochera

From that day forward I started noticing little bits of magic popping up all over the place.

You know what I mean…

  • The friend who calls just when you were thinking of them.
  • That exact song playing in your head echoed back when you turn on the radio.
  • The unexpected snow day that saves you from the client presentation that, at best was going to be humiliating, and worst-case a career-ending disaster. 

That’s right. Magic!

The invention of the serendipity log

I started noticing and documenting each moment of wonder, big and small in what I called my “Serendipity Log”.

And it wasn’t long before these perfect, bright, coming-togethers-of-things grew in frequency and magnitude until it was simply undeniable.

There was something there! I wasn’t imagining things. The unseen something was showing itself, in flashes and occasional fireworks.

The final piece of evidence came together in an elaborate unfolding; a weaving of inspiration and opportunity over the next six months.

The elaborate unfolding

First, I applied for the job (I mean really, how could I not?!) And got it!

The only problem was that while my new position in paradise sounded like a dream come true, this particular dream hadn’t even been a blip on my radar before it knocked on my door.

When push came to shove, the idea of leaving everything to go to a new company on a tropical island in an entirely different country, seemed, well, really cool AND totally terrifying.

So, I turned it down.

The idea of a move, however, was intriguing. That was an idea with staying-power.

I just needed a side of familiar to go with my new life adventure, and since the company I worked for had offices all over the world, that seemed like a good place to start.

A few weeks later I was at a corporate training in Wisconsin with dozens of my peers from across North America.

When I mentioned that I was contemplating a move, the offers came rolling in from sea to shining sea, including one in Tempe, Arizona that seemed to fit my list.

(As we get to know each other you will realize that, yes, of course there was a list!)

my exciting life-adventure move-somewhere-crazy list

Exciting Life-Adventure Move-Somewhere-Crazy List:

Change in climate (When you grow up somewhere that minus forty degrees is a typical Tuesday in January. Warmer is a thumbs up.)    ✔️
No major natural disasters (I’d already crossed off hurricane, earthquake, and tornado territory.)    ✔️
Suitable dating pool #lifeessentials✔️

Within the month I was on a plane to Phoenix to interview, and imagine my surprise to find out that Arizona is a desert! (Seriously, I had no idea.)

It was a strange new landscape, with sand instead of dirt, spotted with palm trees and cactus.

A swimming pool in every yard and pre-mixed margaritas for purchase at the corner gas station. I’d landed in my own personal paradise.

Job offer in hand, I wrote to the Chamber of Commerce to get information on my soon to be new home.

coming attractions

When the bundle of brightly colored brochures and community statistics arrived, I eagerly lay everything out on the floor of my downtown Winnipeg apartment to absorb life’s coming attractions.

Arizona was home to the Grand Canyon, old west towns, 12 months of t-shirt weather and monsoonal dust storms known as haboobs.

I could be skiing in the morning in Flagstaff and head back down to the valley for a swim in the afternoon. I joyfully gobbled up page after page of shiny possibilities.

Then, one image stopped me in my tracks.

One brochure’s cover held a rust-red clay ancient looking dwelling with square windows. What I now know to be an adobe ruin, but at the time was an entirely new thing…

Or was it?

Something seemed oddly familiar

There was something familiar about the shape, the colors, the solitary strength and stark smooth angles of the structure.

I pulled myself up off the floor in a trance-like state of wonder. Some hidden part of my mind ringing a bell.

Could it be…?

I walked through my bedroom to the very back of my closet. Reaching up on tip toes to the top shelf, I felt around until my fingers settled on the crisp pages of a book.

The book I’d been reading that day on the couch when I was struck with the idea to move somewhere…crazy.

The book that opened that door in my mind to a new adventure, hours before adventure’s invitation literally landed on my doorstep.

I pulled the book down and held it to my chest, carrying it into the living room, almost afraid to look.

Heart racing, I placed it down carefully beside the brochure.

there was no mistaking it

And there, on the cover of the book was a matching ancient red sand structure with square windows.

Saguaro cactus and a howling coyote completed the picture. There was no mistaking it.

The elaborate dance of life laid bare on my apartment floor

My mouth fell open as it hit me with a thud.

The elaborate dance of life represented in mirrored images there on my apartment floor.

  • That cold winter day with the book.
  • The idea to move.                                                                                                 
  • The knock on the door 3 hours later.
  • Getting the job and turning it down.
  • The option to move ANYWHERE and somehow, I’d ended up moving to Arizona. (Which apparently, was Life’s plan all along.)

The coming together of these circumstances to deliver me from reading on the couch to a whole new life in Arizona less than 6 months later was not coincidence, it was not random or “luck”.

It was the great big cherry on top of my serendipity log that said “YES! There is more to life than the walls and the table and the floor and HERE’S THE PROOF!”

the unseen had shown itself – magic is real!

The unseen had shown itself.

Magic is real.

And since then, nothing has ever been the same.

My dearest reader, client, friend, welcome to the adventure of your life!

This story is the first time I fully recognized the unseen speaking to me (though not the first time in spoke to me, in hindsight.)

That was decades ago, and I’m still struck with wonder every time I’m presented with the awe-inspiring evidence that Magic Is Real – there’s an underlying order to the universe that we can witness, work with, and move within.

And so, this is a beginning… and there’s lots more where this came from. 🙂

If you have your own magical story to share, send it my way here.

And if you would like to experience more of the magic working in your life, be sure to sign up for your free Serendipity Log in the form below and we can be on the journey together.

Sending you love, wonder, and so much magic!

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