Throughout our lives we encounter signs and symbols that give us clues as to why things happen, or gently "push" us in the direction that most aligns with our chosen path. Free will gives us the option of acting on those signs, or ignoring them. Case in point would be my friend who unintentionally found a house she saw often in her dreams, but chose not to pursue what meaning it might have for her in this life. (See my post of February 14, 2010, Affinity, for the entire story.)
Sometimes the signs and/or symbolism simply eludes us because we're so embroiled in the physical and emotional aspects of a situation that we totally miss them. This really became clear to me when I was writing the last series of posts. It's been over 20 years since I met Celia and more than 12 years since I lost my loved one, but it was only now, during the writing of the series of posts about Celia, that I was hit with the symbolism of The Littlest Hobo (the tv program Celia and I watched together faithfully). How ironic that the program we enjoyed together so much was about a dog who came into people's lives just long enough to make a positive difference, then moved on - exactly what Celia did for me!
Our inner self will sometimes provide signs of what's to come, often through dreams or events that offer us little clues. Unfortunately, we often make the mistake of writing off these signs as "coincidence". Over the years I've come to the conclusion that there really aren't any coincidences and that what seem like random events when they occur, actually make perfect sense later when viewed in retrospect.
Of course, that's probably where we got the saying that hindsight is 20/20...