When I entered my blog, it surprised me to see just how much time has passed since my last post, and that brought a bit of a cringe upon me, quickly followed by a smile. You see, I've been pondering the idea of surprises lately as that is the topic of the latest Echo challenge. I assume like most folks my first thoughts went to cheers upon entering dimly lit rooms full of family and friends, bright boxes with fanciful bows, the love of your life holding out to you a simple gold band, and even the "+" sign on a pregnancy test . . . all those surprises life hands you as you're strolling along not always paying the attention you should to your own life. I thought to myself, yes, surprises, even good surprises (depending on your position in the matters), but for some reason these things just didn't settle as fine with me.
So, I percolated a while. I do that. I percolate. Sometimes I compost, but that only happens on the really big endeavors. On the smaller notions, I simmer and percolate, and this I did. I started thinking about more intense and unhappy surprises like your best friend moving hundreds of miles away, the engine failing on your only vehicle and you're on thin ice at work anyway, that lump in your breast the doctor says needs "a closer look".
These things certainly didn't settle as fine with me either. I just wasn't satisfied with any of the notions that were coming to mind so, being an exceptionally warm day for late November, I gathered my camera and my dog Delilah and we went walking . . . and percolating.
Now travelling along a country mile always holds a surprise or two no matter the season. This day was no different. First was the orangey-red fungi of which I have no knowledge growing along a downed log. Then there were the lime green hedge balls lying in neat piles under the hedge trees, along with the lone one wedged in a fork of a branch overhead. (As if some late-night fairies had held a rugby match.) Such color for a dead and barren winter pasture! Delilah found her own surprise while attempting to walk into her favorite pond, only to have her feet shielded by a thin layer of ice that had accumulated the night before. To this she growled and scratched until the ice gave way. (Another surprise!) Her antics brought a chuckle, but it was those bright reds and greens springing from the dry browns around me that brought some sort of inkling to my mind, but I just couldn't grasp it and name it . . . not yet.
Delilah and I made our way to the southern most corner of the pasture, turned, then headed back north along the fence row separating the plots of ground. (Funny, we followed the cattle path just like any other herding animal, but that's another story, another post.) Within just a few paces I noticed a tree leaning out from the fence line. At first glance it appeared as any other tree along that country mile. But, for some reason I was drawn to look twice and noticed a scarred notch bulging from its side. It was then I noticed the culprit, the agressor to the scarring which still had it's claws dug in:
And just like any good surprise, there was mine boldly staring right at me. That inkling finally percolated itself to a full simmer and boiled right on over.
"There is new life blooming from the dead base. It reminds me of how no matter what life throws our way, and no matter how much we feel broken, there is new life and new strength waiting for us--just around the corner."
And in that I had another surprise yet: my new partner just happened to see things just as quirky . . . or as normally . . . as I did. And that just makes me smile.
Peace to you and yours,