by Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company
Last weekend I went to Santa Cruz, California to see the migrating monarch butterflies in their winter home. My chosen destination was Natural Bridges State Park, which features a natural stone bridge formed by the Pacific Ocean tides (hence the name) and groves of the monarch’s preferred eucalyptus trees (hence my visit).
My husband Joe and I headed to the coast by the most direct route, but found our way blocked by bumper-to-bumper traffic headed over the hill to Half Moon Bay, so we turned south to go over the hill through the tiny, tone-y town of Woodside. We seized the opportunity to enjoy lunch at Buck’s, a diner with smart and thoughtful cooks in the kitchen, where half of Silicon Valley’s venture capital deals are struck over waffles and coffee before 9 am. I had the crab cakes in pita bread with red-pepper mayonnaise; Joe had the corned beef hash.
Arriving at Natural Bridges S.P., we strolled down the wooden walk-way that reaches like a finger deep into the chilly eucalyptus grove. Peering up into the 30 and 40-foot tall trees, we saw — not a blooming thing. At less than 55 degrees, the butterflies huddle together for warmth high in the trees; to venture out is for the butterflies to risk an early death, before they make it to their breeding grounds among the milkweed plants of Colorado and points east. We felt as though we had gone on a snipe hunt; we made jokes about topping off the outing by taking in the local submarine races.
On the way back, we stopped at a farm to purchase an ollalieberry pie (ollalieberries are a cousin of the blackberry, and they make a truly fine pie), and arrived home feeling as though our jokes about trying to get the monarchs out of our hair only added to the pleasure of the day.
Which made me think of what happens to our business plans. Sometimes we don’t get exactly what we hoped for (sorry, fans of The Secret!), but we often get something wonderful.
What unexpected results have your plans brought recently? Please share your thoughts here.