How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
(Prompt Author: Jeffrey Davis)
Phew, an easy one. I needed this after yesterday’s prompt.
I’ve been blessed enough never to have lost my childlike sense of wonder and curiosity about the world. It’s such an innate part of my nature, the question of cultivating it is like being asked – so how did you remember to keep breathing this year?
This doesn’t make me a perfect or even perfectly happy human being. For one, I’m absolutely crap at small talk, and inept at social gatherings. My attempts at conversation come out like uncontrollable barks. And I either come across as aloof or high, depending on whether I’ve gone blank from desperately trying to think of something appropriate to say or have a false grin plastered across my face. I’m much happier sitting on the sidelines watching people, or looking out the window, or staring at the light or the colour of the sky. I just can’t help myself. As soon as I step out the door, my gaze is up and out. I notice how the air smells and feels, the patterns the scattered leaves make on the sidewalk, how a stray petal has become suspended in a spider web on a wall. I also trip over my feet a lot and wear glasses. Ever since I was a child, I’ve been endlessly peering at everything, getting as close as I can.
Which makes Jake my ideal companion. No matter how hard our days can be, it is also utterly fitting that I should spend them with him. He won’t think it at all odd if Mummy suddenly drops to her knees in the playground to look at a leaf, and to notice that it has been undisturbed, with droplets of dew still on it. (I wrote about that here: http://theheartfulblogger.blogspot.com/2010/11/wonder.html) He will never think that a little walk to the shops is dull. A little walk anywhere is never dull. And I will always stop to think about the questions he asks me, and take them seriously and answer him as well as I can. Anything from, “Where do bubbles come from?” to “What’s that?” when he points to certain parts of my anatomy in the shower.
Yesterday, he set up a “TV” (using one of my tote bags hung off a clothes dryer), used some wooden blocks as remote controls and switched his “TV” on and declared, “Look Mummy, Picky Pickle’s on TV.” (I have no idea who Picky Pickle is, but that’s besides the point.)
The other day, he suddenly said, Grandpa makes pockets all day.
And when he heard me say comatose, he said, “Not time for toast. Wake up its morning, then have toast.” Coma Toast.
And at any moment, he is liable to burst into his cheesy grin, start giggling for no reason (the best reason to giggle I think) and spin himself around in circles. My own little whirling dervish. The simple joy of spinning and dizziness.
So I could be dutiful and give you a list of things I did to “cultivate” wonder, and it might read something like this: this year, I started the 365 Photography Project, kept a daily diary to capture those small details I’d otherwise forget, taught myself a new craft (embroidery), took up drawing again and kept up this blog.
But, all I’ve really done is get up each day, open my eyes and kept them open. And experience each moment with my toddler. (Seriously, he even follows me into the loo.) There’s infinite wonder in him alone.