Ever since I began writing A Tale of Serendipity,
back in 1992, I have sincerely pondered over two questions:
Why was I writing a story about a family of
ocean-dwelling seals and their dolphin friends?
I "received" this story in a vivid dream during my early twenties. Though I certainly had a soft spot for animals and cared about our environment at the time, I certainly was no expert on either subject (nor am I now). I grew up in the midwest, nowhere near an ocean. And if I was anything, I was a healer/therapist/artist in-the-making, not a marine biologist or an environmental activist.
And, why on earth was this tale taking SO LONG to be 'born'?
Over the years, I couldn't help but feel that the ridiculously long gestation period this tale seemed to require was reflecting something other than my own fear of "coming out of the creative closet." Something more than self-doubt, procrastination or general life-busyness was at work... But what?
Now I know that nothing less than SERENDIPITY was at work. This story has been waiting for its right time. That synchronistic moment when my personal readiness to "get out of my own way" met the world's need to face, feel and deal with what's happening to our oceans, to all of the creatures with whom we share this precious planet -- ourselves included.
It's impossible to pick up a paper or turn on the TV these days without being confronted with disturbing news. Whether we hear about an oil spill on the Gulf Coast or global warming, whether we feel the threat of mass extinction, witness the dolphin massacre in Japan (as potently depicted by The Cove), or a seal hunt that is tragically repeated every year on the Canadian coast (go to Protect Seals Campaign), our hearts can't help but pound with fear, break with sorrow, or shut down from overwhelm. We humans seem to be wreaking havoc on our planet, treating each other as callously and "inhumanely" as we're treating our fellow creatures.
(Click the image above to learn about the Protect Seals Campaign!
Time is of the essence!)
No doubt, we're in the midst of a mass Wake-Up call, and each of us has an essential role to play in our shared awakening process.
* * *
This brings me to another realization: that A Tale of Serendipity hasn't only been waiting for its right time, but for its right audience. It wasn't until 2004, many many hundreds of pages into the project, that I made the brave decision (thanks to the encouragement of my highly intuitive writing coach/midwife, Renate Stendhal) to transform what was intended to be a mythic tale for adults into a transformative adventure story for children. Now more than ever, as the mother of a young daughter, I am grateful for this decision.
A Tale of Serendipity is more than an adventure story. It is a tale about the deep interconnectedness that exists between all living beings. It is about respect, empathy, compassion, dignity, integrity, honesty and collaboration. It illuminates the highest potential in humanity, as well as our deepest wounds. It is here to help our children grow up with the self-love, sense of empowerment and planetary compassion they're going to need as they discover and embrace their unique roles in our shared evolution.
Ultimately, this unfolding tale is for the open-minded, open-hearted child in each of us, who still believes in (and is counting on!) a future where diversity is celebrated, conflicts are resolved peacefully, and our earth -- and all of her creatures -- are respected, protected and allowed to thrive.
"Thank you SOOOOO much for the book! : )
I've finished it for the 5th time!"
Yvonne (12 years-old) -- Hong Kong
"A Tale of Serendipity is a warm and whimsical tale of the adventures of Rutt, Ruff, Raul, Reck, and Rup a young family of seals and their dolphin friends. Through their adventures we learn about facing fears, finding friendships, and fostering fun! Rosy's story gives us a chance to explore, through both fact and fiction, our relationship with the world around us helping us examine how to make the world a better place for all living creatures!"
Mary Ruth Coleman, PhD
Senior Scientist, FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina
"Thank you so much for your wonderful book! My mother, daughter and I read it together when my mother was here, and we loved it! Congratulations. It is a delightful story. We are looking forward to the next installment."
Madeleine Dunphy, award-winning children's book author of the Web of Life series
"I have read A Tale of Serendipity with so much pleasure. I found if full of grace and light, love and tenderness, a willingness to face great difficulty, the courage to overcome it. You have created such a convincing world; when I was falling asleep, after reading the book, I felt that I was slipping underwater with a very particular seal-like body. I love their birth-songs and the entire mythology you have created for them. I cant wait for the continuing adventure and more illustrations. I can easily imagine how many children (of any age) it is going to make very happy..."
Kim Chernin, PhD, Grandparent/Ordained Minister -- Point Reyes, CA
Author of In My Mother's House (1983)
"As a retired school social worker, I was thrilled to see how very loaded A Tale of Serendipity is with opportunities to read and discuss parenting styles, roles within the family, normalizing feelings, character development, empathy, acceptance of diversity, making choices, empowerment, life stories, healing, resolution, etc. Additionally it's a wonderful storyline that leaves the reader (and listeners) hungry for more adventure. The illustrations alone will capture your heart!"
Judith Jaffe, Retired School Social Worker
Sayre Language Academy Chicago, IL; G.R. Clark Elementary School Chicago, IL
"I've been unceremoniously engrossed in this incredible book! A Tale of Serendipity is the most amazing portal. I feel not only welcomed into the scenes, but beckoned, called and led into the heart of the characters' experiences. I am swirling and swimming and rolling and breathing the lives of these beautiful creatures. And I care about them so much! I can already tell that the book is too short! What will happen? What will happen?"
Rachel Walker, MFT, Parent/Psychotherapist/Performance Artist -- Berkeley, CA
"I so enjoyed reading your beautiful story and am so happy that you wrote it. It's not only a most wonderous and mystical story, but it is an important one. So few children's authors have written stories that truly address the child/adult as a whole being. Your writing is full of seemless analogies and stunning imagery. I can't wait to read the next book!"
Jenny Andre Santellano, Parent -- Chicago, IL
"Rosy Aronson writes playfully, entertainingly and compassionately from a place of mystery, ecology and deep wisdom. When you read A Tale of Serendipity, it feels like she is holding your hand while taking a relaxed and funny walk together into a realm usually reserved for the sages. This journey reveals the unique beauty marks on our soul in such a loving way that it made me wish I could be a child again to have her story impact and guide me from the very beginning.
Karin von Daler, Psychologist, Expressive Arts Therapist -- Copenhagen, Denmark
"What could be more endearing than the story of five little seal pups who go on a great, transformative adventure looking for their lost mother and baby brother? It will take all their courage, even breaking the rules of their strict father, to follow their intuition, their childlike hope and optimism. And, of course, it takes the help of some very special friends! A group of charming, eccentric dolphins brings not only wisdom but also magical gifts of love and a vision of very different social relationships. A book to read aloud and share the fun and suspense and the enchanting illustrations by the author -- with kids of any age and with the whole family.
Renate Stendhal, PhD, Writing Coach, Spiritual Counselor -- Point Reyes, CA
Author of The Grasshoppers Secret
True activism begins
in the heart of a child who cares!
"A Tale of Serendipity is a tribute to the depth of love that intelligent creatures have for their families and what determined friends can accomplish when working effectively together as one. Rosy Aronson exposes the reader, as few authors have done, to the fact that seals and dolphins are as different and unique from their siblings and family members as humans are from ours. In the end, while not said, the take home message is that by their uniqueness and ability to love, the lives of seals and dolphins should be considered extremely valuable and protected, just as we view every human life."
Alex Kalk, MD, Parent/Family Physician -- Austin, Texas
"A Tale of Serendipity is a fun, breezy book that pulls the reader in. I wish I could swim with these guys and share some of their adventures!
John Raffetto, Parent/Horticulturalist, Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago, IL
"We were delighted to receive your beautiful books yesterday & the boys are thrilled with their message & stickers. A Tale of Serendipity is such a delight to behold with your beautiful drawings bringing the seals adventures alive. We've already listened to your cool podcast, which is such fun & you have such a beautiful voice! Ben loves listening (he's 6 years old) and Ollie ( who's 8yrs) would love to read the story. I look forward to reading it with the boys. You are such a genius!"
"I loved your book! It's a sensitive ecological tale that is great for the younger set but also meaningful to adults. I adored the seals and dolphins, their environs like the Laughing Lagoon and Sugar Reef and the familial relationships between the siblings and the parents. It's a special story with multiple meanings. You can feel very proud of your accomplishment!"
-- Marcia Fine, Author and Speaker, Scottsdale, AZ
"A Tale of Serendipity is embedded in the world of the ocean, and raises the question of how human beings interact with and affect the environment in which we live. It is an incredibly timely tale, given the recent devastation in the Gulf of Mexico, and feels like a call to change that is driven by love and not politics.
I loved A Tale of Serendipity! I found myself crying at times and laughing out loud, and it was hard for me to put it down. Perhaps most important, I feel changed by this book the story and the words and the characters worked their way into my heart, and opened me up.
In my daughters words, Serendipity is the Best! I cant wait to read the next one! Neither of us wanted the book to end, and both of us eagerly await the next installment in this riveting and transformative tale.
Valerie Creane, Psy.D., Parent/Psychologist El Cerrito, CA
"Filled with charming, lovable heroes and tremendously appealing artwork, this tale touches on themes that more and more people are becoming aware of and concerned about. The seals and dolphins in this story need to be given as big a voice as possible!