Expect the unexpected, dear reader.

Expect the unexpected.

OK, now that I’ve got your attention: Expect the unexpected.

Unexpected glimpse of a sunrise yesterday morning through side-view mirror of car

We only must repeat this sentence three times because we, as humans, so often long for the expected, the habitual, the comfort zone, the easy path, our familiar ways.

We truly don’t want to be alarmed, alerted, confused, thrown into not-knowing what to do next.

We want our morning coffee.  We want to drive to work on the same roads, dodging the same traffic, headed in the same direction.  We want to return home to the same loving faces, the same kinds of dinners, the same bedtime rituals.

We humans are lovers of patterns, routines, safe secure habitats.

Aren’t we?

Yet, Life itself, the sweet pearl of it, is always unexpected.

It never faithfully behaves as we expect.

Change is the only constant, the wise ones insist, and oh how astute this is, isn’t it?

The world changes on a dime.  Or it changes, slowly, slowly, slowly, as in our children growing toward adulthood, their faces and lithe bodies imperceptibly growing older, older, a tad bit older, and suddenly they’re graduating from high school and slamming the door behind them as they leave for college and we’re left at home wondering, wondering, where did the Time go?  How did this happen?  How did we not see this coming?

The Unexpected visits us every day.  It visits us with a phone call, a ring on the doorbell, a deer outside the window, a wonderful email, a sad message, a slap in the face, a hug that won’t end.

It visits when an egg breaks, a motor sputters, a child announces wedding plans, a beloved grandfather dies.  It arrives like popcorn popping, pop, pop, pop, bursting our bubble of habitual expectation.  It comes like an angel or devil, the face of God or utter despair.

It comes, dear reader, it comes.

Through a side-view mirror, looking backwards

How can we expect the unexpected, to live with its continual knock-knocks without pushing it away, attempting to blanket ourselves beneath a tent of familiarity?  How can we maintain equilibrium as change moves in as our ever-present partner, our unexpected wife or husband, our life?

I decided to count the number of times Unexpected visited our Little House in the Woods recently.

Shall you count her visits in your life as well?  And did you welcome her in, heat the kettle with hot water, pour tea for her?  Or did you try to push her out the door in denial, in tears, in frustration, trying to keep her away like the most persistent Jehovah Witness who ever smiled your way?

Here are my unexpected happenings:

1)  I am now a famous wild leek expert.  No kidding.  How these things happen is an utter mystery.  A month or so ago, in the midst of the Freshly Pressed hoopla, the phone rang.  It was the editor of Lake Superior Magazine, a friendly editor named Konnie.  She had discovered my blog about wild leeks and wanted to utilize a picture for their glossy magazine.  Would I comply?  WOULD I COMPLY?  Of course, Konnie, whatever you would like.  Would you like to know every blessed fact about wild leeks this person has ever gleaned?  I sat down and scribbled everything I knew about wild leeks in a notebook and awaited her phone call.  Then shared every wild leek fact she might desire, and what other facts would you like, Konnie?  And now yours truly has been quoted, not once, not twice, but several times, half an article really, about wild leeks.  They call me Kathy Gibbons, Stalking the Wild Leek, no kidding.  How unexpected!  How fun!


2)  More crazy than that–talk about unexpected–my Dearly Beloved has snatched Sunday’s toilet blog for appearance in the local weekly newspaper this week.  No kidding.  Should I run and hide?  Hide behind the locked bathroom door for a week or two before this blows over?  It’s one thing to blithely publish a toilet post in blog-land.  It’s another to publish this in a local newspaper.  My mother-in-law just sighed, “Oh no.”  My daughter just said, “Perhaps you should reconsider.”  But no! I expect the unexpected.  What shall be, shall be.  Fame for leeks and fame for toilets all in one week…

3)  The Weather.  What can we do, we Upper Peninsula residents, we Midwesterners used to shivering in March? It is supposed to be snowing.  It is supposed to be cold.  It is not supposed to be 82 degrees (27.8 Celsius) with all of us sweating and bemoaning, “It’s too hot!” longing for cold, a tiny bit cooler please, a tiny bit less heat?  This is more than unexpected.  It’s record-breaking.  And we’re wondering whether our trees will die when the hard frosts and snow returns, yes, we’re wondering, this is so unexpected, what are we to do in March when the weather turns into the pinnacle of summer, what are we to do?

Buds? In March?

3)  A friend commented today:  she will attempt to read my blog as the beginning of “lectio” every morning.  Lectio is a spiritual practice where you deeply pause by a psalm or Bible passage or other spiritual writing and allow it to penetrate deep, deep, deeper still.  My heart stopped in utter joy when my friend said she would do this here at Lake Superior Spirit. Perhaps she didn’t know that I often try to create this blog as deep spiritual sharing without using explicit spiritual words (OK, sometimes) and that this sometimes succeeds and sometimes utterly fails, but it’s always an attempt of this heart.  That she would perhaps sense this and read this blog as preview to lectio–my God, my heart, I want to cry in the pure amazement of it.  How unexpected.  What a gift!

Book, nice cup of tea, sunny deck...

4) I bought a book in Marquette last weekend:  “The Best Buddhist Writing 2011.”  How I want to write the one of best Buddhist writings in 2012!  I am not really a Buddhist, although perhaps 52.6% might qualify.   Is it still possible to succeed in this goal without being a card-carrying Buddhist?  Last weekend I paused to drink in the writings in this book, to attempt to join eternally with the Universe.  I poured a cup of tea, and read.  A fly arrived, uninvited, in my tea cup.  It back-paddled furiously, and then perished.  Very unexpected indeed!  Did I drink the tea anyway, after fishing out the fly?  What do you think?  Would a “real” Buddhist drink the tea with equanimity?

Fly in tea. How unexpected!

5)  I reached for an apple.  A wasp reached for it first.  It is good to see the wasp before one grabs the apple.  Years ago I reached for a green onion upon which a wasp perched.  Tried to rescue to wasp and shoo it out the window toward freedom.  The wasp did the unexpected and stung.  I ended up in the emergency room when a red line zinged toward the heart from the wasp sting.  Very unexpected.  This time I left the apple alone and photographed it instead.

Nice apple. Nice wasp.

6)  I pad out to the mailbox, intending to sit beside a tree before returning to the house.  It’s so hot.  The snow banks melt.  I gather a small pile of mail and lean against a tree.  Open an envelope–what?  Hey, it’s from a beloved blog reader , wow!  And here is a check for a substantial sum made out to my name–what?  I read the letter carefully and the blog reader is sending this money for one of my friends who is challenged, suffering.  A friend I wrote about in a recent blog.  Amazement!  I sit under the tree in the baking hot March sun and thank every star in the Universe for people who unexpectedly follow their hearts…

6)  And finally, one last bit of unexpected news.  My daughter just met one of MY blogging friends from South Africa!  How cool is that?  How amazing, how unexpected!  Reggie, from Grains of Sand, recently visited the United States and sent me beloved post card after post card from a half-dozen locales as she traversed through Kentucky, Washington DC, Gettysburg, other towns.  Every day at the mailbox I would almost cry from the beauty of her sharing, her thoughtfulness.  Last week, just as she and her husband prepared to return to South Africa, they met my daughter, Kiah, in Manhattan.  Is that unexpected, or what?

Reggie and Kiah. Oh you guys, I would love to be with you!

What unexpected pleasures and pains have roosted in your house, your email in-box, your mailbox, your telephone, your trip to town?  Do you cherish the unexpected, or push it away?


We only think we know what will happen next.  Yet we never, ever know.  Especially now, as the Spring Equinox approaches…anything can happen.  Anything can happen, and it just might…

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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86 Responses to Unexpected

  1. Carla says:

    What? No impending grandbabies unexpectedly showing up? In my family, the word expect – or unexpected, and welcome anyway – tends to involve a 9 month interval! However I bask in the cumulative pleasure of your unexpectations.

    • Kathy says:

      Grandbabies…sigh…Carla, that would be a REAL unexpected pleasure! But I don’t think either of our two are even thinking that way yet. Cumulative pleasure of unexpectations–grinning at that one.

  2. Fountainpen says:

    I hope you did not drink the tea!


  3. Thank you for this UNEXPECTED gift today. Despite a life full of the unexpected, lately it has become too expected. I wake each morning without hope for change or difference. Sure, I know that I will have a warm cup of chai, read some blogs, have either fun or arguments with my daughter, and so on. But that is not enough. I want the unexpected . . . the sight of the gray fox yesterday that gave me something to write about, an e-mail from a long lost friend, anything to remind me that life goes on even if I feel like I’m just treading water.

    Your post reminds me that even small things can add to the adventure, and anything can indeed happen. I just have to wait and eventually the unexpected will appear.

    • Kathy says:

      You are so welcome, Lisa. I get tired of the expected too. I have a list of expectations today longer than this blog. However, sights like that gray fox, small gifts, even a fly or wasp–those can bring amazing adventures to our days. And something to write about! Unexpected blessings…may they come your way.

  4. Elisa's Spot says:

    lol I was dreaming about you and the leek post last night and thought i’d have to come and ask you, my near yearly question, about leek status! Your leeks are leaking!! hehe

    I would LOVE to read the spiritual toilet article in a paper!

    I am so pleased for you!

    You know? Some of that uhm… psst bored (everyone look away from the bored word please) goes away when I go back to noticing the unexpected, new. Every experience is unexpected if I see it so!

    • Kathy says:

      Isn’t that true? Every single experience in our life can be unexpected if we see it new, fresh, present with it. I wonder if the leeks are out yet. They’re never out in March. It would be SO unexpected. If you want to read the article in the paper, send me your snail mail address again in email and I will send it, Elisa.

  5. Sybil says:

    Kathy, you reap what you sow. And you sow such a rich, loving, thoughtful crop.

    I do worry for the budding trees …

    • Kathy says:

      Trying to sow a rich crop in this lifetime but sometimes those insects eat it all and the sun don’t shine and the rain commeth overmuch…but we can keep trying, right? Let’s whisper a tree prayer…

  6. Beautiful. Sweet. Exactly what my dear heart needed.

    • Kathy says:

      May your sweet dear heart revel in the unexpected today, little story. So many unexpected stories in our daily unfolding–even a fly, even a sunrise. Thank you for visiting.

  7. Kathy – When I was a kid we’d play Monopoly with our cousins. One of my male cousins (who shall remain nameless) was a sore looser. When he lost he’d look at the rest us menacingly and say, “When you least expect it, expect it!” And then he’d stomp off in a snit.

  8. Susan D. says:

    W-O-W! Glorious!

  9. lisaspiral says:

    Thank you, I needed this one this morning. I guess there have been too many years of the unexpected resulting in a hospital stay and I find myself highly resistant to unexpected interruptions in my routine. You have shown a delightful and loving way to embrace the unexpected. I think I’ll give it a try.

    • Kathy says:

      It’s hard when we have experiences like that, Lisa. It’s understandable why we would want to resist change. Wishing you success in learning to welcome the unexpected into your life–every day.

  10. lucindalines says:

    This is THE most amazing post that I have read since starting this journey. I loved, loved, loved it. I don’t think that I can blog again with any hope of accomplishment. I am jealous that I cannot think or write like this. I guess I will just keep doing my little mundane, wordy self study and live with what I am. Thanks so much for sharing all of this. It is really great!

    • Kathy says:

      I am so happy you liked this Lucinda. As for being jealous about this or saying you can’t think or write like this–don’t worry about it for one more second. God has a purpose for each and every one of us, and God uses our gifts in a million trillion different ways. God writes through all of us, using perhaps a different way, because someone needs to read it with different voices. You will write something and someone, somewhere–maybe lots of someones–will suddenly “get it” because it’s your voice and expression they were needing to hear.

  11. Love the unexpected glimpse of a sunrise through the side-view mirror…

    Expect… Whenever I made a poor choice and complained about the consequences, my parents would say, “Well, what did you expect?”

    These record-breaking temperatures are being blamed on global warming. I hear Mother Earth saying, “Well, what did you expect?”

    Congratulations on the leek expert article and the toilet blog exposure! One never knows what to expect next with you, Kathy! It’s always an adventure… 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      It was SO unexpected, Barbara! What was even more unexpected was that the camera was in the car for once. 🙂 Interesting thoughts about expectations and consequences…something to keep in mind. (I never know what to expect with me, either, dear friend. This is what happens when you ask the meditation question “What am I?” one too many times…lol…)

  12. lifebydesignwithalison says:

    I love your style Kathy, which is why I am reading your blog, which is just one of the many “unexpecteds” in my life. I’m learning to enjoy, and almost look forward to, the unexpected. . . .

    • Kathy says:

      Alison, I love that you’re pausing here to read. Your pausing is an unexpected gift that makes me smile wider than the Cheshire cat, wider than the woman in the moon, wider than the sun as it crests the morning horizon. That’s how much your presence means to me right now!

  13. P.j. grath says:

    Very beautiful fly and wasp. Very, very beautiful view in the rear-view mirror. Lots of wonderful unexpected bits of life happening in yours, shared with us. Thanks, Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      Don’t you love those unexpected bits, Pamela? To think that someone would love your photograph of a wasp and fly. The beautiful sunrise in the mirror, well, that’s one thing. But very unexpected that a fly and wasp can be deemed beautiful as well.

  14. I definitely crave the unexpected – it keeps life interesting! When I experience TOO much routine, too much of the “same old, same old”, I start to feel sort of a “restless life syndrome” (think of “restless leg syndrome”, but for the mind). I literally cannot stand for things to remain unchanged (which sometimes doesn’t go well with my older son, who loves routine). Even if it’s little things, like swapping out a few refrigerator magnets. I believe that every unexpected turn in our life presents a new challenge, and we find out more and more about ourselves and how strong we are by facing each one head-on – which in turn, makes us stronger each time we DO face them. I love every one of my experiences in life, good and bad – they have made me who I am today. WHAT A RIDE! WOO-HOO!!!

    …… see what you did?? You got me going again….. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      I understand “restless life syndrome” way too well, Holly. I love how you’re making it something beautiful for you and your family. I love your spiritual focus. Glad to have started you going once again, oh-lover-of-change.

  15. cderozier says:

    Dear hubby and I were walking along a path the other day, and something caught the corner of my eye. Something that didn’t match the shapes of the wildflowers and rocks. It flashed to me that it was a caterpillar. I called a halt and hubby patiently waited while I tried to find the spot where I’d noticed something, and we saw him! Tiny little green guy hiding under a leaf. How did I see him when we were briskly walking and chatting away? Not sure, but his unexpected little presence made my day!

    • Kathy says:

      The unexpected mystery of a caterpillar as giants pass by on a walking path! And life offers a view from beneath a leaf…and you share your story with us…and it’s another miracle of life, as miraculous as it gets really. Unexpected presence. Thanks, Celeste.

  16. susanblake says:

    Hi Kathy,
    A delightful read as ALWAYS 🙂 I’m not sure that there is such a thing as a “card-carrying Buddhist” but I am not surprised at all to know you consider yourself at least half. I try so hard to avoid labels of any kind, but am sometimes presssed on religious views by people who identify strongly with that. I mention Buddhist and they fly away asap. It’d be nice if people in general would realize it is a way of thinking/living and practice that really is not like other religions – it’s like the non-religion religion.

    Well I’m babbling on and you know already – duh. I think living in the present moment we are to experience the joy of what is perhaps without classifying “expected” or “not expected” ? For me at least, learning the non-judgments in my practice has been the hardest since it’s so ingrained.
    (and hugs)

    • Kathy says:

      Ha ha, SuZen, I added the phrase “card-carrying Buddhist” because I loved the way it sounded! I do consider myself slightly more than half Buddhist. Add Christian, Confucian (confusion?), Muslim, Native American, Miscellaneous. I know what you mean about Buddhism. I know what you mean about meditation and I’m learning how to reach beyond the ingrained, although sometimes it’s oh-so-hard, oh-so-hard…

  17. Oh, dear Kathy, what a great post! It’s what my heart needed, as well. You have a huge gift and beautiful heart.

    I’m delighted to hear about the toilet post! I love it–totally love it!

    Right now, I’m craving a new job for Sara–a new location–a bit of the unexpected.


    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Kathy, and I wish for Sara (and you) the perfect location, the perfect job, the perfect fit. Amen, Amen, and Amen again for extra measure. I know the Universe is listening.

  18. Carol says:

    Unexpected here is another 4″ of snow on the first day of spring; having to shovel decks more frequently in March than throughout official “winter”. Your unexpected list is much more exciting than mine, which is just fine with me. For now. Congratulations on all your wonderful happenings!

    • Kathy says:

      That IS unexpected!! Four inches of new snow on the first day of spring? Why, you sound like Arizona! I hear they had weather like that yesterday. I swear my life isn’t that exciting, I swear. It’s a gift of exaggeration and noticing the small, small happenings and making them big, bigger, biggest until they delight you.

  19. What a beautiful blog, Kathy! Very inspiring and yes, I see that it is spiritual in nature. And congratulations on the published article – euell be famous in no time!

    • Kathy says:

      Hey, Patty, thank you! I am glad you were inspired spiritually and otherwise. “Euell” be famous in no time! Ha ha, Euell Gibbons, you are so witty!

  20. Susan Derozier says:

    Aw Kathy – You have done it again by offering me beautiful distraction in the midst of dreaded and painful shoulder exercises. I decided to take a break halfway through and found you waiting. I LOVED your photos and stories and it has recharged me and inspired me to finish my important task with a large smile on my face. It is so wonderful to be online again and able to access your lovely sharing. Congratulations on word spreading about this special lady who is an expert on more things than bathrooms and leeks! Loved this!

    • Kathy says:

      Susan, I am so happy to see you hear this morning. And so sorry about how challenging the shoulder exercises are. Glad that these simple words could brighten your day. to think that you are recharged! I am recharged just feeling your spirit here. May your exercises become easier and less painful as the days pass.

  21. Refocusing your blog on the “mundane” toilets and the unknown “leeks” seems to have brought out the seekers of new material for the newspaper…that would be a big unexpected!

    Wonderful post on centering and balance.

  22. Heather says:

    Beautiful. The pictures, too, but mostly the words.
    Occasionally something cuts so deeply that I rail against the universe, but mostly I try to let things happen. I find that fighting against things that will be anyway is fruitless and often frustrating. I feel so much better when I deal with unexpected situations gracefully. Like finding out that we’ll owe much more in taxes than we saved for because of self-employment. But then, discovering that we’ve been overpaying almost that same amount in property taxes and will get a refund to cover it. There’s a balance. I can’t change these things, but I can control how I react to them.
    I also would have avoided the apple (similar ER trip and allergy shots currently), but I would have fished the fly out and continued to drink 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      The balance is so often the surprising thing, isn’t it, Heather? That the Universe sometimes seems to find a place a balance, even though it doesn’t always come from the same source. How wise you are to be learning this lesson of not fighting, allowing things to flow. Sounds like we’ve had similar experiences…

  23. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy you are filled with unexpected blessings….for me…for us. You bring the unexpected to us by your thought-provoking posts. I loved your sunrise pictures in the mirror…breathtaking and so unexpected to see through that perspective. Congratulations on the published “leeks” article!! What a lovely achievement in a beautiful magazine! And the toilet blog being featured in the newspaper…woohoo! The famous Drue Loo will be known far and wide!! 😀 The little fly and wasp came for a visit and a spot of tea and teeny tiny taste of apple and wisdom from our dear friend Kathy ♥ You are blessed…we are blessed and life is good. Not always what we expect…and sometimes not at all what we want…other times exactly what we need and more but always part of the Divine Plan. Personally, I am struggling to “wake up” from the heaviness of the winter’s unexpected happenings…am needing some unexpected happiness in my life. Need to open my eyes, my heart and find it…it’s there, I know, but obscured with worry. So….in the meantime…I watch as the buds pop and burst on the trees and shrubs…I soak up the unexpected warmth of the sunshine…I see the grass turn green right before my eyes after the rain yesterday. It’s nature that brings me back to my center…nature and prayer, until the two become one. Then I can see the unexpected with new eyes and I can feel the joy and I can grin with delight. Then my heart swells with gratitude for this beautiful life. ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Brenda, the reaction to this post is unexpected for me! I am surprised that people are resonating with it so deeply, and being inspired by it. Life is not always what we expect, that’s for sure, but if we can find beauty and adventure in small things it is a gift. Like you soaking up the unexpected warmth of sunshine, watching the grass green. Simple precious gifts. My heart swells along with yours.

  24. Christine says:

    That is an amazing shot out of the mirror. Wow. I loved that. For me, the quiet, boring day is a real gift! But, I try to maintain an open heart.

    • Kathy says:

      I loved that shot in the mirror, Christine. Thank you for liking it, too. I would have thought you would have had many many quiet days, oh you of Quiet Paths…

  25. Karma says:

    Wow Kathy! The universe sure has been busy surprising you lately! Congratulations on your magazine mention. For the most part, I enjoy change. Routines often lead to ruts, and ruts depress me. As long as change isn’t catastrpohic, I’ll invite it in for a cup of coffee on the deck. 😉 (Might as well sit outside and enjoy this lovely weather we’ve been having, shouldn’t we?)

    • Kathy says:

      Interesting, Ms. Karma, your comment flew away and never showed up in my email box. How unexpected! I know what you mean about wanting to avoid those catastrophic changes. We can only hope we’ll be graceful when that kind of change shows up. Isn’t it lovely weather? Our temps are supposed to start dropping a tad bit tomorrow, and then more the next day, headed back to the 50’s.

  26. milenanik3 says:

    Reblogged this on Milenanik3's Blog and commented:
    Amazing what a words can do..

  27. Reggie says:

    Wow… I am simply stunned… what an amazing, inspirational post you have written yet again, Kathy.

    I am still laughing at Barry taking your blog-post about the throne… and in awe of that blogfriend who sent you money for another blogfriend… such generosity…

    You know, meeting Kiah in NYC was amaaazing; we were so delighted to get to know her – and you through her too. It was an unexpected gift from the universe for us too. Hugs, dearest Kathy and Kiah!

    • Kathy says:

      Reggie, I am amazed that people have enjoyed this post so much, Reggie! I’m sure it has a lot to do with your presence. 🙂

      Life has offered some special gifts recently, that’s for sure. Yesterday, when I was starting to write this, I walked to the mailbox (to get two MORE of your postcards!) half-wondering what other unexpected gifts the Universe might share during the day–and there was the money from a blogfriend for my friend.

      So glad you and Richard could meet with Kiah. If only I could have sipped tea with you! Another time…we hope…

      • Reggie says:

        Yes – and who knows, perhaps the cup of tea we sip together will be in Cape Town?! –

        Perhaps, once you’ve won that trip to Marrakesh, you’ll enter a competition to fly to South Africa? 😉

        • Kathy says:

          Find me a sweepstakes for South Africa!! Please!! I will enter faithfully, picturing us at a table together and swinging of foefie slides!

  28. Joanne says:

    Congratulations! You know that your writing being exposed further afield than this blog will have you making more new friends here, with more comments to reply to, don’t you? I expect it will happen!

    A close friend told me one day, when I phoned her unexpectedly, that she always made time for unexpected chats with friends, no matter how busy she was, because you would never be able to get that moment back ever again, that it was a precious moment to spend, no matter how unexpected it was.

    Did that make me feel special? You bet it did! And I never forget what she said. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Joanne. It’s funny, I am really to trying to publish further afield. I adore it here and almost feel like it’s “enough”. But open to all possibilities! I love what your friend shared. The moment can never be retrieved; it goes so quickly. Let’s take advantage of its preciousness…

  29. Kerry Dwyer says:

    Lovely post Kathy I really loved reading it as ever, and great photos again. Can you tell me what camera you use?

    • Kathy says:

      Dear Kerry, good morning–good afternoon–glad you enjoyed it. The camera is a Ms. Canon Rebel. I bought it about 1 1/2 years ago after using a Ms. Sony Cybershot for the previous year and a half. (I still don’t know how to use the new one more than 24.6% though. I’m technically challenged…)

      • Kerry Dwyer says:

        Thanks for the answer. That is great as I too am technically challenged. I would however, like to take better pictures. My camera is basically a point and click with twiddly bits that I don’t know how to use. (Technical term there – hope you understand :))

  30. debyemm says:

    “What shall be, shall be.”

    The Weather.

    For 2 weeks, we have wanted to get out on the wild river Jack’s Fork in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways for an overnight canoe float. The Weather has not been cooperating. My husband, the early April spring storm baby, I believe, relishes the idea of the challenge of coping with adverse weather; but given things like derechos, tornadoes and straight line winds toppling 50-100 mighty Oaks & Pines for the last several years, or wiping out significant portions of once thriving urban civilizations, I have not been welcoming of the possible visit of The Unexpected to our campsite or in this case, perhaps it is that one’s cousin, the “Expected” (my expectations, beliefs about what we will face, whether that will be the reality or not GOL).

    But The Weather, that chameleon has been fickle and keeps changing its surface appearance; and so, I have agreed to go this day and face it – regardless – and we will be there 2 nights and 2 days, coming out on Friday – come rain or high water – and I expect a bit of both. One cannot avoid one’s spouse’s birthday nature, I suppose.

    So, Que Cera, Cera, whatever will be, will be. Thanks Kathy for encouraging me to go with an open heart and mind; and to welcome The Expected and The Unexpected into my Life, over the next couple of days.

    May my memories be so happy that it will ever be one of the best experiences yet in a long line of previously good ones.

    • Kathy says:

      Loving your story here, Deb. Loving the que cera cera from your heart which prepares itself for the unexpected. The chameleon weather indeed! Stay safe, dear friend.

  31. Lori DiNardi says:

    Funny, I never heard the word Lecito until reading this, and it turns out, I do it every day. I even wrote about doing it in today’s blog and didn’t know it’s what I was doing. I guess the unexpected happens when you learn something new too. Thanks Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      I am so glad that my friend used this word and shared it and now you can use it all the time, too! I hear it’s a very valuable spiritual practice. Learning something new is a gift…

  32. Tammy says:

    I love the idea of being more open to the unexpected yet taking time to notice it. Thanks for this post Kathy.

  33. flandrumhill says:

    Kathy, one of these days I am going to visit Northern Michigan and unexpectedly show up at your door for a cup of fly tea. Between now and then you will forget all about me writing this so you’ll still be surprised at the unexpected visit 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      A cup of fly tea! You are so hilarious, Amy-Lynn. Are you sure we couldn’t have some other kind of tea like jasmine or black? Must we have a dollop of fly, too?

  34. debyemm says:


    This is where I was placing my trust overnight and early this morning, for the predictions are 70-80% rain today and tonight – the outfitter has said NOT TODAY. We are still packing; and hope to leave tomorrow. I did not have to be “the one” to say NO today. But my prayers have been answered never-the-less. I will have to give up yoga on Sat but will make it up next Monday.

    Sigh of relief – probably audible all the way “over there”. Yay !!

    • Kathy says:

      That is certainly unexpected! But I am glad the Universe complied and, yes, even the robins are talking about that sigh of relief. We heard it way up north.

      • debyemm says:

        That loud, huh ? I already went for my daily hike today. I was “on top of the world in joy” at how well surrendering can work, when one knows that all is really well; and there is no inner hidden desire to prove someone else “wrong” with a bad outcome. I didn’t whine or say much at all but have kept the Weather from NOAA very visible on my computer screen. I will add that my husband made it clear that on the insights of the outfitter “HE” made the choice to wait. Good for him, at almost 60, he is finally maturing !! The outfitter said he would put us on the river, if that is what we really wanted; but he didn’t like the idea that he might have to try and find us out in the wild, to “rescue” us. Happy, happy. I feel now that it is going to be an excellent and highly enjoyable trip, whenever it is, that we get there !!

  35. bearyweather says:

    Wow, so many unexpected surprises for you recently … I am happy that they were all positive. Love your sunrise. I carry my camera always because of unexpected beauty that might pop up …
    I have also been surprised by the heat .. and the awful humidity … this can not be March in northern Minnesota. But, we don’t complain too loudly … this is what we were wishing for during those below zero days not too long ago.
    Nice post Kathy …

    • Kathy says:

      Well, I suppose there might be one or two that could be viewed as “negative” but I am a half-full glass kinda girl and like to turn things around as QUICKLY as possible! Barry is scheduled for surgery in less than two weeks, etc. etc. I vow to carry around my camera more often, especially because a moose is back in our swamp between here and town. Glad you enjoyed. We shall not complain.

  36. Colleen says:

    Kathy, your words seem destined to flow out into the universe. I have so often had that quiet and persistent thought, reading what you share here.

    Much in our life has been unexpected lately, tears one moment, laughter the next.

    • Kathy says:

      Flow, words, flow! Flow down mountains and across valleys, through swamp lands and across impenetrable thickets. May words soothe tears and share laughter…yours always do. Thank you.

  37. Lovely glimpse of the sunrise. Really great colors!

  38. Dana says:

    Oh, Kathy– I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’m missing my regular dose of your words! It has been a challenging few weeks– but for unexpected reasons– and I’m so looking forward to settling back into my simple routines again. Soon. Very soon.

    The unexpected has been sprouting up everywhere here in Calgary, where I will be for a few more days even still. Mostly, I’ve been inviting it in and sharing some tea with it, but I’m sort of ready to hang my “Closed for Business” sign up now. I’m ready for some predictability. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Oh my dear…those challenging weeks…no fun. I know. Simple routines can be so healing–the very opposite of unexpected! It’s interesting how the karma of balance hangs. We so often need to integrate more “unexpected” into our lives. But when the “unexpected” becomes too much…the expected is the greatest gift in the Universe. Love to you…breathe deeply…you are loved.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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