Aside from the scheduled incredible lectures and mini tours of special places well documented in the Tauck Tour promo pieces, this trip provided a number of surprises as well– lunch with the Baron in Saracusa, a puppet show prepared solely for our tour group, and while touring the ancient Opera House, a 45 minute performance of the Barber of Seville!!! Not to mention the totally unplanned snowfall that occurred as we were climbing Mt Etna!!!!
But on the last day, the best unplanned surprise of all happened. On the last day of our journey we were in Taormina staying in what had once been a monastery–just fabulous with beautiful gardens and views everywhere. Just a slight walk up the cobblestone street we found fun shops and restaurants and somehow spent the rest of the day there, chatting with local people over cappuccino and brushetta. Shopping in one of my favorite little shops was interrupted as along the very narrow windy street came a marching band with all the energy as one marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!!!!! A full marching band is the last thing one would expect to find in this tiny community with its narrow streets with occasional steep narrow steps leading to a quaint coffee spot. Apparently there was a band competition with several area bands doing their best to win the coveted prize.
I suspended all shopping plans as I didn’t want to miss this musical celebration that seemingly came out of nowhere–I was truly taken back, feeling ever so grateful I was there at that very moment. What an opportunity!
I am often talking with my students about the value of seeing opportunities and responding to them quickly to get the full benefit. I believe every day has opportunities to feel joy and yet too often we decide to keep doing whatever we are doing, and “take a pass.” No way was I going to take a pass on the parade, reminding me of something Robert Brau once noted,
“Opportunity is a parade. Even as one chance passes, the next is a fife and drum echoing in the distance.
And wasn’t my experience in Taormina just that!—band dressed in red and black called me out of the shops and to the cobblestone street, and right around the windy street, another band dressed in green and black, followed by still another in blue, and another, and another. “Opportunity is a parade…”
I suppose those who ignored the parade are none the worse for their decision, I just know I wouldn’t have missed it for anything!!!
And so it is. There may not be a parade of marching bands happening on your street today but there are opportunities happening every moment….chances to meet one person, to positively impact another, or maybe a chance to reinforce how fortunate you are!
Don’t miss the opportunities!