Open to the Unexpected

Newly born found on backstep by Trudi.

Well I am sitting here thinking that my eyes are playing tricks on me. It is April 17. Right. Then why, oh why, are there great big fluffy snow flakes falling down, laying the ground with white stuff? Still. Are you kidding me Mother Nature?! I mean I just took down the snow fence for goodness sake. I do not need a reminder that you have a warped sense of humour. I do understand that it is hard to let go of your seasonal wardrobe but this is not funny…at all. This is so unexpected and not what I envisioned at all seeing for what I had planned doing today.

Yes the unexpectedness in life. Lately there has been a number of unexpected things happening, albeit good for the most part, but catches you off guard. You know what I mean. It could be a perchance meeting, one that you were not prepared for, because life has been extraordinarily ordinary of late. And voila, then ordinary becomes extraordinary. Or an idea plopped down in front of you and think…well maybe. Or an opportunity to respond in a loving way, maybe even helpful way. Or a feeling that goodness is coming. A kind of Easter season coming to life within, drawing out gifts of wonder and delight, taking you or giving you a wondrous hope, unexpected but oh so welcome. Does that make sense?

I think of my youngest daughter who just got a job despite the circumstances in Ontario. Coming into a field, not of her own choosing, but choosing her, her voice echoes in my ear with a confidence so welcomed. Woohoo. Go little one, go. Do your thing. To a video call from my oldest sharing her joy and delight of spending her time with her growing baby, now walking. What!! How is that possible? You were just born…oh yes last year (silly me) at this time. Or my just got off the phone call with middle one, having done a food drive. What more can you ask of all of then? The pride and love one has in own children, whatever and wherever they may be, it is with a deep sense of wonder how things work out. Each in their own way have made a path, just rightly for them, and nothing can make one feel more in awe than hearing the sweet voices of happiness. Thank you.

Soon, next week actually, my parents will celebrate their 64th anniversary. It is hard to believe but oh so grateful. The unexpectedness for me is that for the first time in their entire marriage, they will not be together to celebrate as mom is in the nursing home, dad at home, and Ontario extending a more determined effort to crush the wake of the pandemic. Love will be shared virtually. In that it hurts most graciously. But I do give thanks for technology and the generous hearts of family and friends as I gather their bounty of love to bring festive cheer to my parents through the weaving words of memories, wrapped in heartfelt love.

Lately, I have had some wonderful conversations with different people that have been most quite life giving. It is amazing the kindness one experiences when people are open to dialogue, extending an invitation to give a bit of time to chat. I keep going back to the many signs I have seen across the island, advertising the message of staying safe, be kind. When you read those messages, they have taken on a deeper hue of colour in our lives, one’s that we will not forget any time soon. Why? The unexpectedness of being placed in situations that cause change or in some settings, force change to happen. LOL. Human being by their very nature do not like to change unless absolutely necessary. Making someone do something, not of their own choosing, can present turmoil and chaos; both which are not easily redeemable. At first seeing the sign of ‘staying safe, be kind’ brought a smile to my face. We should be. What a lovely thought. Yet, now it comes with a seriousness in me….it is necessary. Who would have thought?

I think of my granddaughter right now as I have been spending a lot of time with her lately babysitting. How does a 20-month old teach a way older person life lessons…me for example? Every day. Every day. We have been really focusing on nature and getting to know our world together. She just makes me hoot with laughter….the belly kind…take no prisoners kind of chuckle. I have to hide behind my shirt collar at times because she does the wildest funny things and it is just her being her. Her big think now is waving and saying ‘bye’; queen wave. We go to wash our hands – she waves. We go for a walk in the woods – she waves. We hear the birds – she stops promptly lifts up her head and then she waves saying “bye birs”. She hears a big dump truck or farm machinery up the road – she runs over to me arms extended saying “up” and then as I hold her she turns to trucks passing and waves. Is there not a book by Robert Fulghum All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten. I think if I am really paying attention, it is well before. The unexpected lessons from a 20 month old on hospitality and welcome and kindness, I cannot match.

In all, being present, listening, being aware, seeing all that is before you. Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Is that not what it means to have God in one’s life? Or if not God then something of the more, which provides a way to become more cognizant of and be open to the unexpected, allowing it to catch you….lift you up. What a graced moment!! My grandson was talking to me the other day, so excited about a new game that he got. I am trying to think of it but I am gapping. Oh yes, Crashbandicoot. Thanks daughter. Obviously I have to brush on the awareness of my 10 plus year old versus my 13 or 20 month old grandchildren. Yikes. Anyway he astounds me regularly by his unbelievable wicked vocabulary, his capacity to gather his thoughts so clearly, and to navigate the gaming world so I can at least pretend to get the gist. Have not got a clue. But he does. I sit in awe, not by the topic as much, but by his own enthusiasm, smiling eyes and joy he brings to whatever he does. Astonishing and happily received my boy. Thank you.

So while the snow is still coming down, I have a unplanned surprise in my truck that I got today. When I got in my truck I was just going to get a couple of groceries and tuck in, spoil myself today. I am not sure why I did what I did but I took a left turn instead of right and…. got soil. Yep. A mixed soil. Yeah the language of gardening….who would have thought!? And grass seed. And fertilizer. And yes mulch, red cedar variety. Whew. Wouldn’t you know it that the first brave move of me as gardener and it is snowing. It was cold putting the bags in the back of my truck. I have decided and hopefully my family does not laugh at me too much…to garden. Yes to take the ordinary thumbs of mine and make things happen. Ta da. More like uh oh. I mean I do have this slight problem of not attending to keeping plants alive. If you tell me to take care of other people’s, no problemo; but my own (as family and friends have given me some), it just does not seem to compute. This sudden decision, surprising even me, is like taking the bandaid off….just do it for landsake because the sunflower packages that I grabbed the other day will not take root on the counter.

So for the unexpected delights in life. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of prayers and to the fruits of unexpectedness in theirs.

Published by karenpnd

Taking in life and enjoying what is around me. Retired educator who has realized the bounty of many gifts given while in teaching and working a board level, I have missed out on paying attention to my surroundings including human interaction. So I find myself wanting to write and share a pondering or two. And that leads me in giving blogging a go. Looking forward to meeting others along the way as companions along the journey.

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