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The Red Thread

A poem by Rachel Jamison Webster reminds us of the “red string of fate,” a belief that certain people are destined to meet in this lifetime.

The "red thread" is a folktale that believes those who are meant to connect in life are connected by an invisible red thread.

I like to imagine
love can pull your essence like red thread
through the cold needle of my life now
without you.

From “Did You See The Sky” by Rachel Jamison Webster

My oldest, closest friend was the one who introduced me to the idea of the “red string of fate.” The “red string” is an ancient belief that certain people are destined to meet throughout their lives and those people are connected by an invisible red thread. In modern American terms, I like to think of it as the idea of kindred spirits, a series of people who, no matter how hard you try, will enter your life and change you.

I thought of the invisible red thread for the first time in years after reading “Did You See the Sky” by Rachel Jamison Webster, which landed in my inbox from Poets.org’s Poem a Day newsletter. Because the concept was explained to me by this friend in particular, I’m partial to believing in it. With some people, words just flow when you meet; it’s as if you’re picking up an ancient conversation that you’d forgotten about from centuries ago. It was this way with the person who introduced me to the red string, and I’ve met others who I’ve felt an uncanny connection with and walked away changed.

The potential existence of destiny and its role in our lives is rife for debate. Nevertheless, we all have our group of kindred spirits, those to whom we are bound by an invisible thread. This week, use the quote above from Webster’s poem as a source of inspiration. Tell the world about the cast of characters in your life, how they’ve affected you, and whether or not you believe in the idea that certain people are destined to play a role in your life. Who knows, maybe the first commenter will be your new best friend.

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  1. I have meditated on friendship and enjoyed to be reminded about kindred spirits and red thread. I spent time thinking on friends like Jonathan and king David. My prayer is that we all have a chance to meet our kindred spirits as we go through life affairs.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

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  2. When a young girl, 24-years-old cook for my son, younger than my youngest son calls me “Appa” meaning father. How am I (65-years-old) supposed to respond.
    I felt like never before. My sons and their wives call me Daddy. And I know that her father is no more. I am totally confused to address her as daughter. That sort of changes the relationship.
    Was it a destiny or just a pleasant experience. I should ignore it or think beyond employer and cook relationship?

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  3. Thank you for this much needed reminder. I am always grateful when I remember the roles people have played in my life, especially in terms of how they have helped me grow. You’ve reminded me of a much needed concept during a trying time 🙂

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  4. However never heard about RED THREAD, but I do believe in DESTINY…Things turn up how they are meant to be…no matter how hard we try and actually People work according to the plan set for them and then start thinking, “I did it”.

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  5. Yes so true, there are certain groups of people that always meet each other, victims of childhood sexual abuse and the opposite, perpetrators of sexual abuse alway know each other. The red thread is a poetic concept but it can be proved scientifically.

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  6. What a great post! I thought from the day I met my wife that we were connected. I’m not one to believe in re-incarnation. At least I didn’t before I met her. Maybe? Thanks for the poem…and the post!

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  7. The concept is quite an interesting, debatable one for many. Destiny, I said once, is how you choose to live. After much more time passed, I believe I must’ve been at a crossroad when I spoke those words. Some people just have a certain chemistry which is attractive to others and somehow we prefer. Not to generalize or speak for others in the “we.” I’d read in scientific research about it- and yet, I’ve been disproven without a scientific explanation whatsoever.

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  8. I might have tugged my future husband’s Red Thread… 🙂
    Upon visiting my fiance’s grandparents’ grave on November of 2013, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my grandparents’ graves were adjacent to theirs! Flashback from years ago, me and my parents as well as my whole clan visit the cemetery to celebrate All Soul’s day. Being the kids we are, me and my cousins play around the graveyard along with other kids from different families gathered there for the occasion. Fastforward to year 2013, I have confirmed that he (my fiance) DID play with other kids every year in that same graveyard just as I did. ~__~
    Coincidence?… Serendipity?… Fate?… Destiny?… I just have no word for it. But I am certain that “love” is that invisible (red) thread that binds every being (on earth and beyond). Wouldn’t you agree? ❤ That's one for the scientific community. 🙂

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  9. I too believe that red thread exists in nature. When passing through a bad phase of life I came across a few people who tried to alleviate my problem, help me. And those people were not close to me during hay days of my life. And then I met a stranger, unconnected, unrelated, who sorted out my problem. There is definitely a red string that exists in nature.

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  10. I agree, there is always someone who will help to change your life, may be the way you look to it or how you act through it, my granddaughter play this role in my life, she teach me how to live in good times or bad ones.

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