You Never Know

So you go out to your little patio with its western view of the city below to refill your hummingbird feeder with their favorite nectar, and what do you spot in the early morning clear baby-blue sky above your sleepy head but a colorful patchworked hot air balloon seemingly close enough to grasp.

Then, on your morning walk, you happen upon a beautiful young belly dancer posing dramatically for a professional photo shoot along your route on Aldama.

Later, in the Jardin (central plaza), crowded with locals and visitors alike on this jam-packed Easter weekend, you see handsome mariachis beside the Parroquia church passionately playing Mexican favorites while the joyful throng sings along.

From day to day you just never know what you’re going to see and experience here in San Miguel de Allende – known lovingly as “el corazon [the heart] of Mexico.”

Yes, it’s a cliché, I know, but I also know that clichés can be comfy, like floppy old bedroom slippers: You never know what’s around the corner — wherever you happen to live and whatever stage of life you’re in. Life’s just FULL of surprises.

I did a little digging yesterday to try to find a poem that might better express this sentiment than I am able to do right now, and I came up with a small gem by the 67-year-old, Harlem-born author and poet Nikki Grimes:

by Nikki Grimes
The truth is, every day we rise is like thunder —
a clap of surprise. Could be echoes of trouble, or blossoms
of blessing. You never know what garish or gorgeously
disguised memories-to-be might rain down from above.
So, look up! Claim that cloud with the silver lining. Our
job, if you ask me, is to follow it. See where it heads.


Since the late ‘90s, in both the United States and Canada, April has been designated National Poetry Month, in an effort to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry. In that spirit, I had an inspired idea: What if we WOWs attempt to write a short poem along these lines (ie, you never know what’s around the corner) – or find a fitting poem by someone else – and share it in the Comments section of this blog during the coming first week of April?

I am certainly NOT a poet or a poetry prof, so don’t worry — you won’t be graded. But I think it will be fun for all of us to try. Are you game? I’ll begin with this super-simple haiku:

So, look up! she said.

Claim the high, silver-lined cloud.

Rise to the surprise.