“What was wonderful about childhood is that anything in it was a wonder. It was not merely a world full of miracles; it was a miraculous world.” G. K. Chesterton
All of us are submerged in the ordinary. The paths that we walk are structured like the lines on the palms of our hands. Over the last few years, I yearn to circle around the perimeter of my life, paying attention to a momentary glimpse that allows me to walk under an umbrella of wonder. This new awareness is born out of two distinct milestones in my personal pendulum: raising my awestruck daughter and losing my quirky father.
The juxtaposition of these two events magnify the prevailing emotions of my life: happiness and sorrow. How do we fill the space around these feelings? More and more, I believe it is in catching this sense of wonder in our everyday lives. On Monday morning, I witnessed how children sink into the magic of wonder. We walked into my daughter’s classroom, where chairs were turned upside down, books were scattered about, and green sparkles, glitter, gold coins, and felt green shamrocks littered the floor. My daughter shouted, “The leprechaun’s came to school, Momma! Can you believe it?” She grabbed a transparent Ziploc bag and stuffed it with green and gold delights.
So mesmerized by her excitement and astonishment, I question my sometimes muted view of the universe. During the spaces between happiness and sorrow, filling in gaps with this wonder is yet another way to move toward gratitude. Instead, during these spaces, I succumb to distraction and irritation. How much of this angst is necessary? Am I even open to allowing moments of wonder sink in? Am I missing the beauty of what the universe offers over and over again simply because I am too wrapped in what does not matter?
Witnessing my daughter’s wonder, I opened my eyes to what inhabits my world. Where does wonder exist? Everywhere. The transformation of light to dark and back again. The sun inhabiting the sky like a golden coin every morning. The connection between friends who are completely content sitting in silence. A double rainbow in the corner of a pale grey sky. The way the snow caps an otherwise green mountain. A look, a smile, a cry, a hug and a laugh.
All of these moments hold magic. In the holy ordinary, there is indeed, the essence of wonder.