Friday, 24 June 2016

a sense of wonder

I have been thinking a lot these days about wonder, or, more specifically, about a sense of childlike wonder; a state of openness and joy, a sense of curiosity and surprise. Perhaps even a state of amazement and awe.

Wondering too about maintaining this joyous wonder into our later years.  Noticing if this wonder-spark needs rekindling and exploring various ways to hold the match.

For the fun of it, I Googled 'childlike wonder' and was rewarded with 11,500,000 results in 0.53 seconds.

First, I looked at whose promising lead line was 'Where Did Your Childlike Wonder Go? 7 Steps To Get It Back In An Hour.'  Urging you to sign up for the Happiness Toolkit, you would then 'be offered a chance to register for the (trade-marked) Happiness Planner Discovery Edition.'

Another site offers '14 Ways To Keep Childlike Wonder Alive In Adulthood'. Here Briana West advises us to 'Fascinate yourself with what you're fascinated about. Be fascinated that you can be fascinated.'

Not to be outdone in wonder-land, there is a listing for '33 Ways to Be Childlike Today- Tiny Buddha'.  Many of the suggestions are no more than actually doing some of the things you did as a child: building a Lego village, reading a children's book or running and skipping.

It equates doing childish things with childlike wonder.

I beg to disagree.

I lean, rather, towards a note from Albert Einstein: 'People like you and me never grow old', he wrote a friend later in life. 'We never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.'

Yesterday early morning I went to Beacon Hill Park and stood before the lily pond. The patterns and innumerable shades of green were infinite.  The shadows rimmed some of the leaves in darkness, creating another layer of patterning.  Small water lilies were scattered like jewels.  I took over 100 photographs.

At 2 o'clock I  returned again with my camera. Once again I stood in awe of nature's magic.

No skipping rope, no intellectual gobbly gook, no workbooks.

Simply an open heart.   Joy in the moment.  Wonder without judgement.

Perhaps best described by Marc Chagall when he said  'I am a child who is getting on.'

please click on any photograph for a full-sized image