The Pleasures of the Unexpected
By Eve Wilson
Like a cool breeze caressing your skin on hot day, or the call of an owl late at night; the pleasures of the unexpected are a joy to be courted, invited, sought out, cherished. They remind us of why we love our lives and our world, take the drudge out of drudgery, and can make a day worth living. Here are some of my favorite unexpected pleasures:
The double rainbow at a wedding that strangely predicts twins – to be the challenge and the joy of the young couple; the flash of red from a ruby hummingbird’s throat; rainbows on my eyelashes; the sweet and fresh combination of flower and evergreen arriving at my nose; a burst of sweet and tart on tongue from a wild berry; the shadow of a hawk overhead followed by its cry; dappled sunlight on grass; a perfect reflection on water.
I spend time in nature without expectation, courting unexpected beauty and joy, to soothe and refresh my soul. But the pleasures of the unexpected can meet us anywhere. Things like laughter after a good cry, friendship after loneliness, amazing/delicious/alive food after too much fast food and ho-hum, a glimpse of God seen in another’s eye, the sense of a loved one that passed on from this world – brushing by your soul and confirming that we are eternal, the re-emergence of romance to a marriage temporarily distracted by life, an adult child startling us with their emerging sense of self and wisdom – the fruit of a long ago love.
When I feel burdened or stuck, and I get tired of pushing through and using up my spirit’s last grains of hope and pleasure to accomplish some end, I seek the unexpected, and allow myself to welcome life to be born anew in my experience. Then I remember that I can do that in my daily work as well. I seek the magic, the sweet, the kind, the generous, the patient, the bawdy, the outrageous, or silly. Spirit flows within the unexpected in life. Untethering my soul and my work from the push and pull of striving, I can allow it to flow like the currents of fresh air that are moving in the moment, and I am reborn. My work becomes as organic as a ripe tomato from the Farmer’s Market. My own efforts become a pleasure and a dance. I find love in everything that I do.
Life throws us a lot of curve balls, spit balls, fast balls, hard balls; life can be hard. But we can respond with softness, like living tai chi that takes the energy life throws at us, and directs it in ways that gives us power, strength and energy for life. Or we can resist, judge, fear, and falter under the weight of things. I like to flow, trust, to live this saga of a life like a ballad – turn it all into something beautiful.