I love surprises. So when, a couple of Fridays ago, S sent me to work with the promise of a surprise when I got off, I spent the whole day in fidgety anticipation.
He showed up just as I clocked off. He brought different clothes for me to change into. Then he drove us forever into the mountains. (At one point, I remember thinking that if he was ever going to murder me, that was the ideal location.) He finally parked in the middle of a forest. He pulled out a hidden picnic basket and pointed me down a trail through the woods. Trees, rocks, dirt, and then, suddenly, a breathtaking view.
We spent several hours lounging in the sun. It was the perfect surprise. I love doing things like that. I call them quiet moments.
I’ve found that surprise perspective seems to leave the most impact, unexpected beauty or tragedy that makes us pause.
When I look back, the moments that stand out are the moments when everything was still. Drinking in a sunset. Sitting in a hospital waiting room. Time spent with people I love. Tension in stunned silences.
These moments force perspective onto us – like breaking through the trees and stumbling to a stop because of an unexpected view.
In today’s world, it’s so hard to just stop, to step away from our rushing busyness, forget our to do lists for a second, put down our phones, and look around. We miss so much with our constant preoccupation. I sometimes can’t help but wonder how things would be if we took a slower path.