Surprise Ahead

I’ve mentioned before that I write a regular blog post for The Intelligent Optimist magazine, posting about once a month. In August, I wrote about how I think the world is constantly providing us little treasures or surprises to find. In fact, I think these surprises are actually a form of road sign, marking our paths as we move through our lives. I referenced Annie Dillard’s book, “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” in which she tells how as a child she would hide pennies for strangers to find. She’d mark a trail about how to find them with arrows and notes, one that said, “Surprise Ahead!”

If you want, go read that entry now, for further context.

I mention this here today as I made reference to this idea at the talk I gave to the PSCS high schoolers on Tuesday night. Then today, when they arrived at school for the first time this year, they found a little note from me on the floor (today’s photo), with arrows pointing them to their cubbies. In each of their cubbies I had placed a penny.

Heads up, of course.

One thought on “Surprise Ahead

  1. A very tidy approach to something I have been doing for years. We all remember when we were kids the thrill of finding a penny on the sidewalk and maybe even repeating the incantation “Find a penny and pick it up and all the day you’ll have good luck”. As I grew older and no longer needed to penny pinch I found that the weight of pennies in my pocket became increasingly irritating. So, when I was in my mid 30s I started casually dropping my pennies on sidewalks wherever I thought there would be children passing by, being careful not to put them in place where children might be hurt (like the middle of the road). I’ve never actually waited to see what happened when the pennies were found but always imagined the delight of a young child picking them up and counting themselves as being very lucky.

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