This Week’s Writing Prompt

Recently, I took an early evening walk in the neighborhoods surrounding Lake Sybelia in Maitland and heard an owl’s characteristic hoo-hoo-hoo-hoooo, which sounded something like, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you?”

I followed his call, expecting this to be the cry of a small owl I’d never find hidden high up in the thick canopy of trees. A few minutes later, I felt both surprised and delighted as I looked up into the eyes

of a barred owl. He stood two feet tall and stared down at me with wide black, unblinking eyes contrasted by his light-colored face. I hoped he knew I was admiring him and not a threat of any sort.

What a glorious creature! I felt honored to have connected with him for that moment and to have a chance to snap a photo before I moved on, leaving him in peace.

Beautiful, unexpected moments—great and small—happen around us all the time. If only we slow down and take notice.  

Recall a moment when you were surprised and delighted.

        • What happened?
        • Who or what did it involve?
        • How did you feel?
        • Do you have these kinds of experiences regularly, or was this an unusual occurrence?

Share your response in the comments section below. 

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Judy Shears

Thank you for your writing prompts. This past Tuesday was just that kind of day, one of seeing surprises from animals. But my story is not nearly as enchanting as yours. As I was driving to work a hawk dropped suddenly from a tree and grabbed a squirrel in its talons right along the side of the road. The poor little guy was just minding his own business in the short grass. He didn’t know the danger lurking above. I was pleased to see the quickness of the hawk but disturbed to witness his catch. Just a short distance further… Read more »

Patricia Charpentier

Thanks, Judy. What an interesting day you had! It is amazing to see a predator capture its prey, but you’re right, it is disturbing. I always feel for the fish the ospreys lift right out water as they are going about being a fish. We’ll keep looking and being surprised and delighted.

Diane Gosheff

November 12th, this year, about 5 p.m., I grabbed the bag of mail for my neighbor, walked through the garage from my kitchen and out onto the driveway. What if a bear is around? Maybe I should go back and close the garage door. No, it’s daylight and I’ll only be right across he street. Fifteen steps to the corner of my house and I looked around it to the east. Staring back at me with surprise was the mother bear that’s been hanging around with two cubs. Back pedaling, I went into the house and pressed the button to… Read more »

Anne Marie Mattison

Dear Patricia, Yes, I also thank you for your writing prompt! This is the first time I have written anything in response to your writing prompt. I cannot tell you the exact date of this moment in time except that it was in July of 2003. Why do I remember the year and the month? On July 6th of that year, I opened my parent’s front door at 10 PM to see two Army officers standing on the porch along with my husband. I knew immediately why they were there. They came to tell me that my beloved son, Jeffrey,… Read more »