Serendipity is a modern twist on the Canterbury Tales in which the reader is told stories of pilgrimages that Anne Greco has taken to places including Italy, England, and even South Philadelphia. Along the way the reader meets a 14th century Italian saint and a 20th century punk rock poetess, enters into the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, sits under a tree at Circus Maximus in Rome, travels to Avalon in England, and takes to the yoga mat. Laced with humorous observations, honesty, and tender recollections, Serendipity tells the story of Anne encountering places of power. As she reconnects with herself at each site Anne also develops a deeper understanding and appreciation of her connection with the seen and unseen worlds that surround her. Throughout the story, Anne encourages readers to remember their own pilgrimages to places that transformed their lives.

Serendipity: Chance Pilgrimages is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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Patti Smith and Serendipity

My friend had gotten us tickets to the Mike Douglas Show and I was finally going to get to see Patti Smith perform live….Nearing the end of the show she was introduced. The curtain rose and there stood Patti and her band. Waif-like, she was dressed in a white T-shirt and black pants; a red scarf was knotted around her neck….After the show my girlfriend and I hung around to see Patti. In her typical unassuming manner, Patti sauntered out of the studio. I handed my camera to my girlfriend. Patti put her arm around me…The trip to the Mike Douglas Show was transformational-a pilgrimage. Patti opened up to me a world of possibilities through her music, her writings, and most importantly an unwavering faith in self….I met my heroine; the one who encouraged and challenged me to dream big, have fun, follow my own calling, listen to my own voice, break confines, and always express myself, even if it gets me into trouble. From my book Serendipity:Chance Pilgrimages. (Photo of me and Patti Smith outside of Mike Douglas Show, Philadelphia 1977.)

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Serendipity and Rome

Alanna, who had not been to Mass in years, asked that Emily and I meet her at Saint Peter’s to attend services on our only Sunday in Rome. Mass, said in Italian, was celebrated in an intimate spot behind the main altar which was flanked by Bernini’s columns. Sunlight filtered through the stained glass window behind the altar. The window held the image of a dove, the symbol of peace. Peace had truly come to my family and me. From my book, Serendipity: Chance Pilgrimages. (Photo was taken in Saint Peter’s, Rome)

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Serendipity and Glastonbury England

I didn’t set out to Glastonbury for the purpose of making a pilgrimage, but a pilgrimage it became; my serendipity pilgrimage. I had never heard of Glastonbury, a small town in Somerset, southwest England, until Martin mentioned it as a possible side trip during our summer visit to his family. Martin booked us into the George Hotel and Pilgrims’ Inn, built in the 1400s to accommodate pilgrims traveling to Glastonbury Abbey. As we packed, Martin filled me in a little more on Glastonbury. He spoke of Glastonbury’s connection to King Arthur and Queen Guinevere…and the belief that the town was once the island of Avalon. For ages Glastonbury has also been known as a center for goddess worship. From my book Serendipity: Chance Pilgrimages. (Photo is of the George Hotel and Pilgrims’ Inn.)

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My Time In John Lennon’s Bedroom

For a brief time I was the only person in the world standing in John’s (Lennon) childhood bedroom. What fears or dreams did the room hold? I ran my hand along the light switch and started to leave. Pausing with my hand on the doorknob, I felt a connection to John by holding the same object he touched every day. From my book, Serendipity: Chance Pilgrimages (Photo is of Mendips, John Lennon’s childhood home in Liverpool.)

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Serendipity is Here!

My book, Serendipity – Chance Pilgrimages has been published. Below is a blurb on the book and a link to Amazon. I’m so happy to be able to share my journeys with you. Laced with humorous observations, honesty, and tender recollections, Serendipity tells the story of Anne encountering places of power that developed into pilgrimage. As she reconnects with herself through each pilgrimage Anne also develops a deeper understanding and appreciation of her connection with the seen and unseen worlds that surround her. In this spiritual memoir the reader journeys with Anne as she meets her idol outside a television studio as a teenager, joins her on visits to England and Italy, and follows her back to the tiny streets of her birthplace of South Philadelphia and her Italian-American family. Anne extends her hand back through time to meet her great-grandmother, walks through the present with her daughters and husband, and casts and eye to the future as she shifts from living scared to thriving with the sacred. Throughout her story, Anne encourages readers to remember their own pilgrimages to places that transformed their lives. https://www.amazon.com/Serendipity-Chance-Pil…/…/ref=sr_1_2…

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Celebrate Your Harvest

September 23 marked the autumnal equinox or Mabon. It’s a time of celebrating the harvest. What do you think of when you hear the word harvest?

I’m reminded of the harvest that surrounds me, the bounty that fills my life. If I continue to feel blessed for what I have then I really do have enough. What do you need to sustain yourself? Do you make sure you’re getting what you need? Do you need more time? Then honor yourself enough to clear your schedule. Put yourself on your calendar first – in pen not pencil. I recently read that the happiest people don’t buy things, they buy time. Buy time? Yes, they might schedule a cleaning service for once a month visits, or someone to pick up their dry cleaning, or online ordering of groceries that are delivered to the car.

I’m reminded during this season that letting go is natural. Trees release their leaves. Days release the amount of sunlight that fills them. What do you need to release in order to conserve your energy as we move into autumn? In years past during the harvest period people would decide what foods to preserve, what foods to feast on before the winter, what foods to save to feed the animals, what foods to share with others. Many things were released not hoarded. Are there certain thoughts you need to release? Certain people or situations? Certain things you’ve been holding onto that are cluttering your life? Are there certain dreams that no longer serve you that you’ve resisted releasing for fear that you failed? We need to release to make room for the new. That’s what the trees are doing; releasing the leaves that served their purpose in the spring and summer, conversing their energy through the winter to nourish the new, unseen growth.

I’m reminded that most of us tend to be good – almost too good – at working and tending but not too good at harvesting. But when it comes to slowing down, sitting down, enjoying the benefits of what we sowed – the things we harvested – some of us feel a bit uncomfortable. For those of us who feel that way, I say enjoy the bounty. Celebrate with friends and loved ones – and strangers. Share the harvest that is in your life. Remember to put some of the harvest, no matter what it is, aside for those cold, dark days of winter.

I’m reminded that the harvest includes more than food that was planted. Harvest can be an abundance of friends, or financial wealth, or an abundance of time. Share those things too. Invite acquaintances into your friend circle. Celebrate your wealth by donating to causes that move you – there are so many needs right now. If you’ve been blessed by having an abundance of time in your life, volunteer, reach out.

In these early days of autumn I wish that your life be blessed with a bountiful harvest. Enjoy the cooler nights and the colorful display that nature puts on for us. Try to release a few things, or thoughts, or obligations from your life. Make like a tree. And celebrate – celebrate you and celebrate your harvest.

I’d love to hear what you’re harvesting in your life. Comment on my Facebook page, Anne Greco Writer, or respond to this post.

Peace,

Anne

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