The only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us.~Francois de la Rochefoucauld
I love those moments of surprise that make me laugh out loud…like the morning we were on the road and I went downstairs for breakfast and saw inspirational messages written on the bananas.
Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.~Thomas Hardy
Or, the time when I saw this marvelous illustration by Odilon Redon in the Kröller-Müller Museum in The Netherlands. Can you imagine your surprise if your soft boiled egg opened its eyes and stared at you one morning?
Sometimes surprises can be adorable like this cat we discovered sleeping on a motorcycle parked on a street in Florence.
The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.~Ashley Montagu
Here’s another example of “adorable” from earlier this week when we were taking our morning walk. I spotted a dog getting a ride on a paddle board and shouted to his owner: “He has the life, doesn’t he?” She agreed.
How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life.~Marcus Aurelius
Some of my favorite surprises occur when we’re traveling…like the time I saw this beautiful birth announcement on the door of home in Florence. I love the welcoming heart and ribbons more than the traditional “It’s a Girl” or “It’s a Boy” posters or balloons in America.
Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.~Alice Walker
My last travel surprise comes from London. Every time I visited the city I could never figure out the purpose of these green shops which appear in various locations. They have no signs advertising the shop’s name. Often, when I spotted them, the shop was closed. Peering through the windows provided me with no clues. Finally, I spotted one open for business. Inside the shop, a man was sitting at a table drinking tea. Part of the mystery was solved. Then, we went on a local walking tour and I learned (at last!) that these little shops provide food and rest areas for taxi drivers in the city. It was a wonderful a-ha moment.
There’s another surprise, the type we are all experiencing right now during the pandemic. It’s a surprise that shocks us out of our complacency and makes us realize that life is fragile and most definitely it isn’t under our control. That’s why Ann-Christine’s theme this week is wonderfully apt. Like Ann-Christine, I want to make plans for the months ahead. I want to have some kind of schedule and feel I am in control. But, Mother Nature is giving all of us a very different message. A humbling one. A shocking one. So, once again, I am trying to learn the tough lesson that life is full of surprises, and unexpected twists and turns, which can upend our lives, our plans. But one thing is certain–how I respond to this pandemic is in my control. It gives me a purpose and a direction.
A special thanks to all of you who shared your quiet moments in last week’s challenge. You gave all of us many wonderful moments of blissful peace. Once again, a sincere thank you!
We invite you to join us again this week for Ann-Christine’s “Surprise” challenge. Don’t forget to use the Lens-Artists tag in your post. If you don’t, we’ll have trouble finding your posts in the Reader and we’d hate to miss them!
Looking ahead: The team has a special “surprise” for July. We will be hosting the theme “Seasons” for the entire month, and are announcing the sequence in advance. The schedule will be:
July 4 Amy Summer
July 11 Tina Spring
July 18 Patti Autumn/Fall
July 25 Ann-Christine Winter
And finally, I hope you are staying well, staying safe, and finding creative ways to respond to the Covid challenge.