Oscar Wilde: To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.

A compliment, a gift, a phone call from a long lost friend or relative (just as you were thinking briefly of them); a powerful piece of piercing prose that unexpectedly punches you in the paunch; bright sunlight after dreary days of downpour; a note of appreciation from someone least expected; finding money thought lost in the most unexpected place possible; all these events seem to happen out of nowhere.

Happy instances of the unexpected.

A novel, or a fairy tale, where the wind or seemingly callous creature guides the hapless sojourner and against all odds, all is well. Roald Dahl’s unexpected twists and turns in his writings that has us on edge, wondering what next? (Actually, now that I think about it, a book of his is called ‘Tales of the Unexpected’). A dream that was thoroughly unexpected – they usually are – perhaps disturbing, maybe comforting. Scientists arriving at unexpected results when researching, opening up other ‘avenues’; artists seeing the unexpected happen as they craft – going places in their work not originally imagined –

An unexpected pregnancy when all else has failed. Unexpectedly falling in love with the person least imagined. Making unexpected and unplanned for friendships over the Internet, as in this A-Z April blog challenge. Receiving nominations for awards from them which was so unexpected and for which I am grateful thank you!

All this is light and bright, and things seem to work in our favour, giving life extra flavour.

So many times though, we’re ambushed when the totally unexpected happens. It comes out and under from left field, a curve ball, urgently smacking us hard in the face.

Later: 12 noon

I drafted the above this morning. I had an 10.00 a.m. appointment with my husband’s 91 yr old aunt this morning, so off I went to her retirement village a way away with a gift of a pot of tulips (the buds tightly closed and of a crimson hue) and a small bar of her favourite nougat. The sun was not shining, it was cold and overcast.  I entered the front door, another woman the back door. Granny Barbie was dozing in her arm chair. I placed the small pot of tulips on a side table next to her. Mary and I introduced ourselves to each other and we gently woke Barbie.

Mary was an extraordinary woman, small, white haired, bright blue eyes and she held me captivated as we talked about all sorts of things. Somehow we talked of soul and the holy spirit (I think she is a lay pastor), the Bible, contemporary books on the Bible, Israel and ancient biblical stories, her upcoming trip to Iceland on a cruise with her cousin in Kent UK.

I felt my blood cells expanding as we talked, my heart opening in conversation with this erudite, ageless woman. All of a sudden she said: look at those tulips – they were opening up as we talked. From being tightly closed, they were opening. A ray of sun came through the windows. I felt a shift within me, the synchronicity to me was extraordinary. I said to Mary as such, and that this was a manifestation of something entirely unexpected and that it was a good feeling.

So, for me, an entirely unexpected meeting with Mary … and I’m so glad it happened.

27 Comments on U : UNEXPECTED

  1. This post could very well have been split in two and been two magnificent pieces of writing… It makes me feel sorry for the people who get the hard unexpected ‘slaps in the face’, I think it’s because they don’t take the time to experience the unplanned delights you describe so perfectly here.

    • Thank you so much Ida. Yes, we all get slaps in the face from time to time and they are hard to bear, but endure them we must.

      Thank you for your lovely compliment!

  2. Susan, I love the unexpected . . . most days. However, my unexpected today was being the go between for two friends who have had a parting of the ways. Long story short, we’ve all three been invited to the same place Sat. morning. One of the other two, who can be rather thin-skinned, has texted and emailed and called throughout the entire day. So, you see it’s a good thing I majored in psych in college since I needed to draw on those lectures this long and arduous day. Not what I expected when I opened my eyes this morning. Could be the meat of a short story! Hmmmmm?

    Thanks for a great post on the unexpected. I think I would like Mary.

    • Thank you Sherrey for stopping by! O dear re: the 2 mutual friends. Meat of short story, yes!

      On yes you would love Mary and she, you.

    • Thank you Lesley for stopping by! It was truly a sight to behold! I took a photo from my cell phone but it is such an old one and I have no idea of how to put it on the computer. One day I’ll learn and then I will always have it ‘on record’.

  3. Hi,

    This post reminds me so much of synchronicity. I do believe our willingness to be opened to all things that surround us, and the people we encounter during our daily lives’ bring about synchronicity that produces blessings we would otherwise miss and the unexpected happens. It takes place because we have given it room to take place. The nice thing is that you, or anyone else who desires to live a deeper life, benefit from such unexpected occurrences. You, the person, receive joy and your eyes are opened to behold beauty in its purest sense.

    So, I am so happy that you took the time to stop and rest from your busy day. You received three beautiful gifts: the talk with the ageless woman imparted to you wisdom: the visit with your husband’s aunt showed you the joy of longevity: the budding tulips that opened up showed you God’s pleasure with you and the way you live your life.

    Love you, Susan.


    • It was indeed a synchronistic event Patricia! And thank you for saying about the 3 beautiful gifts. I always so value for your comments because you in pin point in words exactly that which I don’t quite grasp at the time. I will keep these words in my heart.

      And, as you say, it the unexpected happens ‘because we give it room to take place’.

      Thank you as always dear Patricia,

      Love and Shalom,


  4. Hey Susan, you probably weren’t expecting to hear from me. I’m still hanging in there trying to get through this challenge. It’s been fun but also more difficult than I thought. I’ve been trying to catch up on reading. I liked your “Soul and Spirit”, the Q post was creative and I also enjoyed “Opposites”. The Boston Marathon tragedy was awful and difficult to understand. We have a lot of races here in Colorado and the people waiting at the finish are usually spouses and children, I imagine that’s how it was in Boston. Thanks for your thoughts during that terrible time.

    • Dan this is a lovely unexpected surprise thank you! I remember your posts well of animals birds other creatures almost in your back yard. I’ll go back shortly to add a comment here and there – I always enjoyed them very much.
      We have the annual Comrades Marathon here in South Africa, coming up in early June, of approx 18-20K competitors from around the globe. It’s 89 km long between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It’s the BIG one. We have several other marathons .. not unlike Colorado.
      Interesting to see what’s coming out of the Boston bombing – seems like Russia warned the CIA of these brothers ..
      Good luck with these last few days of A-Z! It’s been a sweat – of the good kind.

  5. Punch in the paunch lol…love it! Great post Susan. The unexpected often gives us some of our best experiences.

  6. I do so enjoy your posts as they do make me think. “Unexpected” can be such an interesting word as it can mean fun things happening in life or detrimental things that may pop up. Being on the cusp of Leo and Virgo, I’m always attempting to control life with my “what if’s.” But, maybe I could choose “what it it doesn’t” for a change. Maybe my attitude should be “surprise me” instead of wanting everything perfectly planned. Hmmm, NOW I have a LOT to think about! 😉

    Speaking of “unexpected” I assumed that you would continue the A-Z Challenge all the way to “Z.” Did you change your mind? I didn’t expect the Challenge to go so very quickly! I do look forward to more of your thoughts!

    • Hi Gwynn, and thank you as always!
      I’m going all the way through and have done so from A-Z though I do not know what tomorrow’s V will be …
      Just be open for synchronistic events and you will surprise yourself. Be alert and aware and allow the unexpected to happen. I remember you once wrote about how you HAD to leave your previous home and where you are is so much better than it was before. I bet that was an unexpected outcome? 🙂

    • Thanks Fran. Enjoyed your post and look forward to checking it out again. You too enjoy the rest of the A-Z – not long to go!

  7. I popped by your blog because the lovely Ida Chiavaro nominated you for a Leibster. I love unexpected occurrences. One that I enjoy the most is a light bulb moment when struggling to write a research paper – suddenly, I figure out the perfect way to express my thought!

    Cheers from Brandy at http://brandysbustlings.blogspot.ca/

    • Thanks Brandy for your unexpected visit! This is much appreciated! May those light bulb moments keep on happening with not only your research – synchronicity seems to be at work if one is open to it. I have JUST now watched a rather unusual Law & Order episode on TV, unusual in that law & religion was the subject matter, very similar to what Mary & I were discussing this very day!

  8. Today I went to do my errands. I had to go to the bank, to my old school to take care of paperwork, to buy groceries and treats for my family, and then when I computed my expenses at the end of the day, I was shocked to discover I had spent so much money. The funny and unexpected thing was that I didn’t mind. I’m normally careful about my money (more now than before), so it was surprising–the amount, I mean–but I realized that I didn’t mind because when I came home, my family showed appreciation for what I did for them, and I realized that it really was a productive day. Unexpected things are awesome especially when they bring a smile to your face. 😀

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