On Wonder

My friend Kathleen Barry and I write together every couple of weeks, and yesterday we both wrote about wonder. You can read her take on it here. Here's mine:

I love the concept of wonder. It conjures up the image of a child gazing at a colorful butterfly, or watching a bird's egg open, the tiny feathered creature inside emerging into the light.

I have been in that dreamy state of wonder, whether at some physical world delight, or in contemplating the metaphysical. Lyanda Lynn Haupt says wonder "is contingent on the habit of being that allows it to arise...." In other words, you have to be in a constant state of openness and wonderment for moments of wonder to find you.

How can we bring more wonder into our lives? Can you discover the wonder in an everyday cup of coffee? Or in the choosing of your clothes for the day? Or in washing the dishes after a meal? It's easy to see the wonder in a stunning sunset, less so in the drudgery of vacuuming the house.

If we are called to see the extraordinary in the ordinary (and I believe we are), then we learn over time to recognize the moments in our lives that God (or the Universe) asks us to appreciate, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

Where do you see wonder in your life? I see it in the purple bougainvillea outside the window, in the hummingbirds which flit among its petals, in the distant ocean and the tides that govern its movements.

Life is both fragile and fleeting—wonder is our opportunity to appreciate it in every moment: the touch of a friend's hand, beach sand between your toes, ice melting in your double scotch. Wonder abounds.

A Wonderment of Earth

earthquake image.jpg

My friend and gifted writer and photographer, Sandra Hunter, emailed our AROHO writing group this morning and said that in the 16th century, earthquakes were called "wonderments of earth." 

What a delightful way to describe the upheaval of earth and plane, the disruption, the stab of fear when you first sense the ground's movement. 

If we consider similar upheavals in our lives - emotional, psychological, mental, or physical - as wonderments of earth, it allows for a very different experience, doesn't it?

Instead of panicking, or reeling from something unknown and frightening, we can see it as a wonderment, a reminder that wondrous life is always about change, shakeups, the unexpected. And we can imagine them, then, as gifts - opportunities to view life differently, to embrace the change that is inevitable, to roll with the earth and trust that the ground will eventually stop moving.

It is, truly, a wonderment.