Enjoying surprises as they blossom

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By Robert Villanueva

Last week as I stood on the back porch, I noticed a tiny purple bloom in a random spot on the lawn.

It was nothing spectacular, just a tiny flower amid a lawn of brown grass.

The notable thing is at various times during the year for the past few years, tiny blooms have popped up in that same area at random times. And usually not the same color or type as its predecessors, but they always are tiny flowers.

One time, a white flower appeared. Another time, it was yellow. Yet another time, we got one that was mostly pink.

Different flowers, different occasions. Same location.

This has happened for as long as we’ve lived in our current home, almost five years, and it still surprises me.

It also amuses me because if I tried planting such flowers, in all likelihood, they wouldn’t have grown. Yeah, I’ve got a black thumb.

Because a flower blooms spontaneously in the same spot, you’d think I’d be used to it by now. But that’s really not the case.

It is such a random occurrence and the flower is so small it generally is inconspicuous until there’s suddenly a burst of color in an otherwise brown or green lawn. On top of that, I never know what type of flower is going to spring up.

Sure, I’ve come to realize something at some point likely is to bloom in that spot, but because there seems to be no specific schedule, it tends to catch me off guard.

Of course, I don’t experience such a thing without converting it into a metaphor of some sort. I’m just wired that way. Or weird that way. Probably both.

What it made me think of it is how something can continue to surprise you, even if you’re expecting it to some extent, and how even those tiny surprises can make you smile.

I like that.

When things cease to surprise me, they tend to become routine. Though there’s something to be said for routine, sometimes life just needs that element of surprise to perk things up.

For example, even though I typically don’t expect a drive to work to offer any surprises, sometimes it does.

One day a couple years ago as I was driving to work, I saw a clown on a unicycle downtown. There’s something you don’t see every day.

On another occasion, I pulled up alongside an Amish horse and buggy on a gray, rainy day and noticed an Amish man huddled and shivering in the uncovered wagon bed. It conjured up —Warning: obscure ’80s music video reference approaching — a scene from Cory Hart’s “Never Surrender.”

As I pulled away, I thought to myself, “I just saw the live Amish version of an ’80s music video.”

Of course, the thing about surprises is you don’t know exactly where they’ll come from or what they’ll be. And not all surprises are desirable.

The undesirable ones often are referred to as rude awakenings. Sometimes a less family friendly term is ascribed to those undesirable surprises.

But I have to say, I appreciate the spontaneous, random flower in the same spot on the back lawn at unexpected times. It might not have a lot of importance in the grand scheme of things, but that’s part of the appeal.

Besides, this last one bloomed the week before spring, and I’d like to think it was a good sign.

Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743 or rvillanueva@thenewsenterprise.com.