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  • Writer's picturePaul Cotter

The Joy of Surprise



On a family vacation in Spain many years ago, we visited the Royal Alcázars of Seville, a palace dating back to the 10th Century. After exploring the grounds and the interior for a good long time, we thought we’d seen everything this magnificent palace had to offer and we were getting ready to leave – but the best was yet to come.


Our son Ben had set off on his own and he returned to tell us excitedly, “You guys have to go downstairs. You’ve gotta see this.”


We followed him down to a secluded underground area where we were greeted by a huge reflective pool topped by symmetrical arches. We stood breathless. This pool, we later learned, was used for bathing by the mistress of King Peter the Cruel. If Ben hadn’t ventured off the beaten path, we would have missed one of our favorite sights from our trip.


Brother David Steindl-Rast, a 96-year-old author, scholar and Benedictine monk, stresses the importance of welcoming the unexpected into our lives with joy. In fact, one of his five guiding principles is “Everything is surprise.”


Each time I see this photo I took of the reflective pool, it's a refreshing reminder of the joy of surprise.





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8 Comments


therkgroup
Jun 20, 2023

Ben there, if not you wouldn’t have done that. Surprise always charges the soul of existence. Love this the reflection Paul and the image is stunning. Ronk

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Paul Cotter
Paul Cotter
Jun 20, 2023
Replying to

Thank you, Ron. I like your perspective: "Surprise always changes the soul of existence." Nicely put.

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Unknown member
Jun 20, 2023

very beautiful "surprise", and it was built underground!! Amazing. I'm thinking that the construction probably involved a lot of suffering by the laborers.

Steve

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Paul Cotter
Paul Cotter
Jun 20, 2023
Replying to

Thanks, Steve. You're right, the construction was probably a mammoth undertaking and was not easy for those building it.

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slig249
Jun 19, 2023

Absolutely stunning! So happy you did not have to miss it!

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Paul Cotter
Paul Cotter
Jun 20, 2023
Replying to

Thank you very much. We're grateful that we did not miss this hidden treasure.

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dawnastromsoe
Jun 19, 2023

Paul, what a magnificent surprise! Even better that all of you shared it together!!

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Paul Cotter
Paul Cotter
Jun 20, 2023
Replying to

Thank you, Dawna. It definitely was made even more special because we shared the experience together.

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