Sunday, August 21, 2011

Elicitation of wonder

My sister and brother-in-law don't come to visit very often.  But like our winter, their summer heat and drought create a strong incentive to travel somewhere else for a while.  Our spring and summer have had more rain than usual and the green and the cool around here have been much appreciated.  However, we all note that a few trees here and there are already showing signs of the approach of fall.  Our winter has not forgotten us.

Getting together with relatives, we had a chance to watch great-grandchildren at play.  Three of the four are preschool ages and watching them makes a clear reminder of the complexity and wonder of our lives and our world.  The total amazement and fascination that a three year old and a 1 year old can show for the task and activity of filling water cans, carrying the weighty cans to the blueberry bushes and dumping the water, occasionally actually getting some of it on or near the plants is lovely.  I was reminded of this passage in "Orthodoxy" by the famous Catholic British author and wonderful wit, G. K. Chesterton:

Mere life is interesting enough. A child of seven is excited by being told that Tommy opened a door and saw a dragon. But a child of three is excited by being told that Tommy opened a door. Boys like romantic tales; but babies like realistic tales--because they find them romantic.

Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith) (1994-05-01). Orthodoxy (p. 34). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition. (Free! - please note)

I have a little theory that just as Herbert Benson posits a human "relaxation response" where we can develop faster, more complete relaxation of our minds and bodies,  we can develop faster and more complete recognition of the astonishing true facts of the world and the activities of living, breathing, digesting, healing and aging.  

So try a little wonder every day.  Take a moment to remember you are on a spinning ball, that you are living in an age when a smartphone is more powerful than last year's computer, where you can see and learn about events all over the universe, that your body is an ongoing miracle that you are only barely in contact with.

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