Just around the corner

When I was really little there was a book for kids that I loved called Just around the corner. The basic idea was simple. On every page they would say something like “just around the corner you might spy….” and then when you turned the page, they would describe some wonderful impossible thing, like “a man so tall his head was in the sky”. Does anybody else remember this book?

I think that this concept has stayed with me throughout the years, this idea that the thing you haven’t seen yet, the event that might happen tomorrow, is still completely full of possibility. The phone rings and you pick it up, and suddenly you are off on an adventure. Or you go to a party and you meet somebody, and meeting that person changes your life.

It seems to me that this is as good a philosophy as any when dealing with the immense uncertainty of the future. I was having dinner recently with my European friend Carine who is visiting New York. And the reason she is visiting New York is that last month she got hit by a bus. Literally. Hit by a bus. And miraculously, she survived, with just a few bruises.

Before that she had been explaining to her friends who were converging to New York for a mutual friend’s birthday celebration from places like Montreal, Dallas and Morocco that she couldn’t possibly take time off from work and drop everything to join in the fun. But after she was hit by the bus – and lived – she realized that life is only as full of possibility as what you are willing to let in. And so she took a week off from work and came to New York.

So I guess that’s my point. Absolutely any exciting thing can be just around the corner. But somehow this wisdom, which little kids understand completely, gets lost on us as we grow up. And then we forget that in order to see what’s around the corner we actually need to turn the corner and look. But we don’t, and so we miss all the cool stuff.

Unless of course we get lucky and get hit by a bus.

2 Responses to “Just around the corner”

  1. Zabador says:

    Muahaha, I almost have the same problem than your friend… Birthday party in Vienna… I need a plane ticket, a hotel, somewhere to put the dog… The only not too expensive flights take 8 hours to go (not direct and still expensive, ie 25% of my salary for one evening)… so is it really worth it to go there, spend my whole two days in a plane to go eat some cake (and I don’t like cake ! )lol … So I am in some sort of dilemna…. Most of the time, I do crazy things like that, but when I at least can stay more than one evening ;'( …

    Concerning the book, I had a totally different one with animals when I was little. You would turn the page, see a mummy animal eating or doing whatever. Then, you could fold the page (the neck of the giraffe or the legs of the bear) and the giraffe would suddenly be giving her food to her baby and the bear would have lots of little bears following her 🙂 Ahem, I know, totally unrelated 😀

  2. Mashhuda says:

    I do actually remember that book, I loved it! I decided I have to see a total solar eclipse, so have decided to get a whole bunch of friends together to go to China next year… arranging of-course to be under the path of totality. Up for that my friend?


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