It’s the way her eyes opened up as her gaze fixated on the actors and actresses in the play. That’s what reminded me again.
This past week my daughter and I attended a children’s play, a rendition of Alice In Wonderland. My daughter’s first exposure to the theater left her mesmerized. She focused on the colorful costumes, the voice of the Queen of Hearts, and the way the characters sang and dance across the stage. At one point, I thought I heard her say, “Oh my goodness!” while she tried to extend her hands to ensure the certainty of what she was experiencing. As she shuffled back and forth in her seat, she appeared overcome by wonder. It is something that always hits me by surprise, the constant amazement she expresses by what I almost always take for granted.
She wonders about the wholly ordinary. Double rainbows in the sky, the way that water and sand can make castles, and still, even at age six, how the sky can eat up a balloon. As adults, we succumb to the details. The “busyness” of our lives kills our propensity to wonder. Our natural inclination is to hurry. How many moments of wonder have I missed? And why is it so hard to pause and embrace what is in front of us?
Since witnessing her wonder, I am paying attention. I am beginning to reacquaint myself with wonder. In the last few days, my eyes have darted to the sunset behind the mountains, marveling at the how the hues of the sky turn blue to purple and pink within an instant. I look at the cacti in a neighbor’s yard and wonder how a singular flower can be in full bloom in the midst of several thorns. There are other moments of awe – the cadence of our breath or how are skin can heal from a paper cut or how our bodies can move in and out of rest and work within a few milliseconds. It is these flashes, these little moments of wonder that we must hold on to while we can. The drudgery is there in the day-to-day, but these little flecks of sparkle, of absolute wonder is what, I believe, more and more, that can sustain us.
Hold on to wonder while you can.
Image by Axel-D