“By and large, our world has lost its sense of wonder. We have grown up. We no longer catch our breath at the sight of a rainbow or the scent of a rose, as we once did. We have grown bigger and everything else smaller, less impressive. We get blasé and worldly-wise and sophisticated. We no longer run our fingers through water, no longer shout at the stars or make faces at the moon.” (Brennan Manning)
There was a stretch in my life when I lost the wonder, and I’m still struggling to get it back. I let some persuits get too big, and everything I used to love doing, things that fed my soul- made me who I am- slowly grew smaller. I was conforming to the image and activity expectations of others, but losing wonder in the process.
I used to watch the stars for hours. Take walks in the woods. Go hunting. Stroll the beach looking for cool rocks, sea glass, or small pieces of driftwood. Kayaking. I had little time for anything anymore. When was the last time I watched a meteor shower?
“We grow complacent and lead practical lives,” (Brennan Manning)
“As civilization advances, the sense of wonder declines.” (Rabbi Heschel)
It all became small when I entered into managing “important” things, life changing things, or so I was told they were.
I believed it. So managing it “right good”, as we say in western Prince Edward Island, became my goal. Looking back I can see it took far too much of my time, attention, and in the end, my life. What was intended to produce “wonder”, actually left me scratching my head wondering how this stuff leaves any room for it.
“We get so preoccupied with ourselves, the words we speak, the plans and projects we conceive, that we become immune to the glory of creation. We barely notice the cloud passing over the moon or the dewdrops clinging to the rose petals. The ice on the pond comes and goes. The wild blackberries ripen and wither. The blackbird nests outside our bedroom window, but we don’t see her.’ (Brennan Manning)
I started to miss nature, unscripted time with people, and spiritual connectedness. So, I began running toward wonder.
The very first line of a beautiful song says, (YouTube and listen)
“Slow down, we’ve got time left to be lazy.
All the kids have bloomed from babies into flowers in our eyes.
We’ve got fifty good years left to spend out in the garden.
I don’t care to beg your pardon, we should live until we die.” (The Gambler, Fun)
It’s a new year, and it’s time to wander further down that new path to wonder.
Wandering in Wonder, to live, until I die.