Do you like surprises? Are you more cautious about answering yes to this question as an adult than you were as a child? These questions came to mind on Saturday while I was returning to Seattle from Bainbridge Island via ferry. Eight cellists from the Seattle Philharmonic were on board playing sea shanties and other pop and folk favorites and I thought to myself, What a wonderful surprise.
Looking back on childhood, surprises usually involved gifts either for Christmas or birthdays, though I’m not sure the bicycle I received under the tree after begging for it for over six months could legitimately be called a surprise.
These days, surprises represent a different kind of gift, more like an unexpected and brief pleasure that causes me to smile and pay attention to my surroundings. My reluctance to embrace the notion of surprises completely comes from my recent experiences of other kinds of surprises — the phone call in the night, the notice on Facebook. Yet this is no reason to give up on them completely. Surprises are the source of joy as well as sadness and who wants to relinquish the opportunity to experience delight at seeing Mt. Rainier lording it over the city on a clear day, jumping at the sound of a beaver slapping its tail in the woods at Juanita Bay Park, or the taste of a sweet tomato plucked fresh from the bush in the backyard.
Today’s biggest surprise was that despite much frustration, starts, stops, and redo’s, I was able to produce this blog on my iPad. The real shock will come when I am able to add a photo.