Thinking Makes It So: The best surprises include a little venom

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By Kelly LeVan

Every year, there’s a day where I glance around and suddenly realize how green and full the streetscapes look, trees flush with new leaves, colors so bright they belong in a detergent commercial.

This day happened Sunday. As I walked back from the Atomic Man Duathlon – where my friend Claire had recently completed the race and hit her time – Grand Canyon Blvd. seemed crowded with spring. Maybe it was the darkness of the fresh tar that set the greens off just right, or the orange of the traffic cones. Maybe I was still giddy from Claire’s accomplishment, and so the world felt richer, more plentiful and generous.

Whatever the case, I added this walk home, this Sunday, this blooming, bushy, emerald view to my mental collection of April moments that annually take me by surprise.

Even though I love it, the seasonal fattening of bony branches and the accompanying astonishment cannot, of course, compare with the other kind of surprise: the genuine, unfamiliar, doesn’t-happen-every-year kind.

You don’t have to leave the continent to enjoy one of these, but I recommend it. My recent trip to Beijing presented many such shockers, from small dazzlers to those that involve glitter and venom.

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