Tag Archives: Surprise

30 September: Juggler’s Balls

I can recall my heart leaping when we drove through an area of the Scottish borders where I had spent a year as a teenager. That visitation was unplanned and quite unexpected, our route had been determined by the morning traffic in Edinburgh. Wordsworth came to his old haunts, distressed with a burden of sad anticipation. But he like me, was surprised by joy.

It had not been the happiest year of my life but it was in the beautiful Tweed Valley, beauty that resonated with my adult self decades later, all unexpectedly. A moment to be grateful for. Now here’s Wordsworth.

“Beloved Vale!” I said, “when I shall con
  Those many records of my childish years,
  Remembrance of myself and of my peers
  Will press me down: to think of what is gone
  Will be an awful thought, if life have one.”
  But, when into the Vale I came, no fears
  Distress’d me; I look’d round, I shed no tears;
  Deep thought, or awful vision, I had none.
  By thousand petty fancies I was cross’d,
  To see the Trees, which I had thought so tall,
  Mere dwarfs; the Brooks so narrow, Fields so small.
  A Juggler’s Balls old Time about him toss’d;
  I looked, I stared, I smiled, I laughed; and all
  The weight of sadness was in wonder lost.
  From “Poems in Two Volumes, Volume 1” by William Wordsworth)

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26 March. surprise maintains a loving relationship.


There is a monotony in the affections, which people living together or, as we do now, very frequently seeing each other, are apt to give in to: a sort of indifference in the expression of kindness for each other, which demands that we should sometimes call to our aid the trickery of surprise.

The Letters of Charles and Mary Lamb, 1796-1820, edited by E. V. Lucas

Yesterday the church celebrated the Annunciation, when the Angel told Mary that she was to become the Mother of our Saviour, and tomorrow in the United Kingdom we celebrate Mothering Sunday, Mother’s Day.

One image sticks in my mind from twenty-something years ago: seeing a car pull up beside a drift of daffodils, the driver getting out and hurriedly picking a big bunch of the flowers for his mother. Not quite what Charles Lamb meant by the trickery of surprise, though I was surprised and the motorist was certainly tricky.

I’m sure we’ve all got something planned, surprising but not alarming. A happy Mother’s day to all mothers reading this post!

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21 September: Follow Me, Feast of Saint Matthew.

 

tagetes field

Follow Me

Two minds can meet in a moment.

Spirit swings silent surprises.

Dawn dips day’s sky in damson dye.

A field of wild flowers’ flames spire.

Matthew becomes a disciple.

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28 May: Happy Monday!

trees-wind-moon

 

What are some of the surprises that God has blessed you with today? Pray with this question and, together, let us allow our hearts to be open to being surprised by God’s grace!

Happy Monday!

Those few lines are by Father James Kurzynski, writing on the Vatican Observatory Website about a day full of good surprises. Do take up his challenge before bedtime, but also  follow this link to his surprising day. He was like a kid in an Astronomical Candy Store, he tells us, finishing with a shared meal with a friend and family.

Laudato Si’!

MMB

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5 September: Fiat

 

fallsupwardLike this tree, half-felled

by storm-wind, let my soul be

split, but not destroyed – see –

boughs, like ballet arms extending,

arch as if intending still more –

this severance allows for greater bending:

wind that wrecked has shaped

a back a neck a head –

once upright, whole, now torn –

another perfection’s born:

a tangled, sweeping reverence.

bowing to unlikely providence

that wrought this dread marvel

of fiat form.

 

A hidden flaw at core, no doubt,

gave grip for wind to wring

this grace like water out,

cracking this tough, this sheer,

this rigid thing –

new beauty spilt:

wound’s yielding.

Science needs surprises –

find yours.

Rule, pattern, type

don’t always please your God –

he’s not that kind of deity.

the good’s not always

in what’s done rightly.

Let my soul, half-felled,

be like this tree.

SJC

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