If we let it, daily life can become boring, monotonous and expected. I got to thinking about this after several unexpected occurrences recently. Each one constituted a sweet surprise that brightened that particular day or weekend. Following is a list of my surprises, in no particular order.

1. I certainly never wake up thinking “I bet today I’ll ride a Harley (Davidson)”. But a couple of weeks ago on duty, I did just that. Another resident of my lovely boarding school bubble owns one, never takes it out and so invited me for a spin. Oddly enough, my motorcycle jaunt reminded of former joy rides on the Vélib (a pick up and drop off bike system in Paris). The wind in my face and beautiful scenery whooshed me back to about a year and a half ago in Paris, when I had just hung a left off of the rue de Rivoli (anyone who knows Paris I hope is giving me some respect for navigating a bike down that cluster of a street) and through the archways leading to the Louvre.  Just as I passed through the old, city-grime-covered entryway into the courtyard, the sun burst from behind the clouds, bouncing off every surface in site: the pyramids, the fountain afield in the Jardin de Tuileries, the expansive windows offering glimpses into the museum’s gargantuan galleries. Blown away, I felt a goofy grin take over my features as I slowly pedaled through and appreciated my awesome surroundings.

Contrary to what one may think, I felt this exact sensation whilst speeding down Highway 272 in C.T., greedily drinking in the countryside bursting in springtime color. The light greens of the fields mingled with the pinks and whites and yellows of springtime flowers, creating a painting that would easily belong if not in the Louvre then certainly in Orsay.

2. I never think “You know, I bet flowers need sleep, too”. But they do, and I had forgotten that. No gardener am I, but when I walked out of my apartment especially early one morning, I noticed the rosy pink tulips next to my stoop were all closed up for the night. By the time I came back to capture the moment, they had begun to unfold, and here’s what they looked like:

Sleepy tulips

There is an unspeakable whimsy to the fact that flowers will tuck themselves in for the dark hours, and then stir themselves slowly to greet the day. At least I think so.

3. I never thought I would become enamored of Hoboken, NJ. It’s not that I thought I would dislike Hoboken, I just didn’t really give it any thought either way. But over a visit to NY last weekend (during which, you guessed it, we stayed in Hoboken), I learned that this city with a quirky name is a haven of charm and energy. Street after street of stately, old, row homes wowed me. Boutiques, cafés, restaurants and delis abounded, and a collage of different people dotted the streets, parks and sidewalks. Milling the streets, observing the architecture, soaking up the sun, the whole experience certainly made my heart tug for city life. Even I, who work daily on eternal optimism, am not going to lie and assert that I returned to C.T. glad for the peace that rural living affords. However, my Hoboken/NY field trip reconfirmed my eventual need to be back in a cosmopolitan setting. And it was a comfort to feel a part of a city again, if only for a moment.

Anyways. These are some of my most recent artsdevivre moments. They certainly brightened up my past weeks. They’ve been stored up in my head for long enough and I was afraid if I didn’t go ahead and record them, they’d got lost in the maze of papers, grades, comments and class preps that currently constitutes my brain.

I hope you’ve had some recently, too. If you’ve been too busy to notice yours, go ahead and try. I think it’ll put ya in a good mood.

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