Remember when you were a kid, and you played hide-and-seek?  Even though it meant the game was finished, the best part was the moment that your co-player found you or visa versa, because that particular instant offered an element of surprise. An anticipated surprise that stimulated you to utter delight. 

It’s been said before, but I’ll reiterate, as we grow older we lose, among other things, this sense of surprise.  One way to regain this feeling is to make it a conscious quest to look—and discover—the unexpected.  A flower blossoming.  Dew drops.  The way sunlight dances through a room in your house.

Yellow bird in a tree spotting--The Japanese Garden and Pavilion, Montreal, CanadaYellow bird in a tree spotting (getting closer!)--The Japanese Garden and Pavilion, Montreal, Canada

Yellow bird in a tree spotting (getting closer!)--The Japanese Garden and Pavilion, Montreal, Canada

Taking a day trip makes this scavenger search easier, only because, typically, a new place offers a fresh, new perspective.  We see things with fresh eyes.  The result?  We are relaxed, rejuvenated, and we rejigger.*  Your assignment for this coming week, if you choose to do it, add a little spark and imagination into your life, take a day trip close to home and search for newness, novelty; anything that will give you pure, childlike delight. (For a bonus point, play hide-and-seek with your mate, your child, your friend or neighbor.)

And we came here to see the bison!...Creamery Brook Bison, Brooklyn, CT

*  “Quietly but noticeably over the past year, Americans have rejiggered their lives to elevate experiences over things. Because of the Great Recession, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll has found, nearly half of Americans said they were spending less time buying nonessentials, and more than half are spending less money in stores and online,” In Recession, Americans Doing More, Buying Less; NYT, January 2, 2010.