It’s a word that either brings joy and excitement or trepidation and wariness – depending on your perspective.
I like surprises… well I like ‘good surprises’ like a bunch of flowers, an unplanned evening out or unexpected visitors at the door.
On one particular birthday I arrived home from work to find the drive lit up with fairy lights and a large pair of knickers decorating the front door… I knew something was up. When I stepped inside I saw a large group of friends, some from far away, who were all grinning at me as I stood by the open front door. It was unexpected and there was lots of laughter, except I felt a bit work weary and in need of a change. I was ushered upstairs where clean clothes were waiting and it was the start of a lovely Bridget Jones themed party that helped take the edge off turning 40.
Out sailing last week, it was also drawing towards the end of a long day. We’d set sail mid morning and the wind was strengthening. It was still a few miles to go before we would arrive at the safety of our next port and the bows of the boat were dipping and crashing through the waves. The sea that had been calming, seemed to be building up for heavier weather. Suddenly a dark shape caught my eye as it disappeared under the boat, then another and another and out across the other side two dolphins jumped in unison their bodies glistening in the late afternoon sunshine. We smiled and laughed – it was a lovely surprise and helped us on with the last leg of the journey.
Sometimes it’s the little things like this that surprise me. They offer a glimpse of joy when I’m not expecting it.
I’m constantly surprised by the beauty of the sea and the changing coastal scenery around our home where there always seem to be unexpected views and finds, from abandoned boats to useful bits of driftwood. Today was no exception. On a walk to the beach I’d been keeping an eye out for colourful painted rocks hidden around the island. One ingenious army wife came up with the idea of painting some rocks and leaving them in various locations for children (and adults) to find… it’s called Thorney Rocks and has its own Facebook page. Coming across the hidden gems now makes walking round the island even more engaging as we wonder what surprise rocks we’ll spot in unusual places.
I didn’t notice any rocks this morning, but sitting down amongst the pebbles watching the receding tide I spotted something yellow and ‘unpebbly’. It turned out to be a tiny teacup. I don’t know what made me look down or how it got there… I suppose it must have been left by a forgetful fairy after a beach tea party!
Anyway it was a good surprise, but easily missed. If I’m not careful surprises pass me by because my head is so full of ‘to do’ lists and issues I don’t have time to look around and see them. They may not be the gob-smacking surprises that leave me gasping for air, but they are the kind of unexpected sights or detail that prompt a smile and offer a glimpse of joy.
P.S. If you’ve lost a tiny yellow cup the size of my thumbnail do get in touch, I have it safe. It is currently part of the beach treasure trove on the bathroom windowsill…