An ad promoting a trip to Glacier National Park

By John Pierce

While reading Sky magazine on a Delta flight last year, I got a chuckle out of a comment by Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti. It was in one of those personal Q&A pieces.

“My wife, Ashley, always surprises me with a birthday cake from Long’s bakery every May 19th.”

Hmm. So a birthday cake from the same bakery arrives on the same day each year, and Speedy is surprised?

That’s interesting. Perhaps the cake is different each time — thus the surprise. Or maybe having Ashley Judd as the delivery person is still a pleasant enough surprise; I get that.

But I couldn’t help but smile at the idea of a repeated, annual surprise. Does an “expected surprise” not fit in the oxymoron category?

On second thought, it is possible to continually be surprised and pleased by that which is familiar and repeated. Good coffee. Faithful friends. Forgiving family. Sunrises and sunsets. Uplifting songs and ancient texts. Holy Communion. Promises of a greater love from which we cannot be separated.

Surprise, surprise. Again, again.

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