Herein is the essence of wonder. I have just spent the last hour and a half reading a philosophy book entitled Recapturing Wonder, on the topic of renewing a disillusioned spirit and finding wonder and enchantment in the reality of day-to-day life. It is a good read. Refreshing. After my retreat from reality, as I took my book and secluded myself at the log cabin down by the river (so as to secure a slice of peace and quiet), I drove back home to the zoo. And when I drove in the driveway, I found my youngest playing with a long piece of rope, one end tied to the branch of a chestnut tree while the other she pulled taunt toward the ground. I never even asked her what she was doing, for I had no sooner come around the side of the van when she hollered to me, “Mom, can you tell me how to do this? I am trying to make myself a monkey bar!!” Ah, but of course! Whom other than a child would think of doing this. For children have in their possession that rare and special quality, spawned from an active imagination, that is the beauty of childlike wonder.
Would that I could capture that sense of wonder and bottle a bit for myself. But unlike a child, I would probably hoard it, placing it high on a shelf for safe keeping. Wonder is meant to be spent, generously poured out in abandon.
Life is filled with wondrous moments, within reach and available for the pleasure and enjoyment of those willing to take risks and to those who avail themselves to life lived in the moment. We are wise who spend all we have on what is rare and precious, knowing that while the cost is great so too is the reward. Life is also about cost-analysis. Is it really worth it? And at what price would I be willing to pay?
We played at a new beach on the Island’s western shore today. My husband loves new, undiscovered back-roads beach sites. So as we turned right to drive down the dusty lane that is the access road to Donahue Beach, he leaned toward me and said he thought this was going to be a nice beach. When we pulled in to park our van, and witnessed the splendour of the waves pounding the shore, he added, “See, I told you it would be a nice beach!”
Indeed it was.
The waves crashed in endless succession, foam tips dissolving into a continuous torrent of energy. It is alluring, that force and display of power. The children wasted no time running full tilt into the water and had a glorious time jumping headlong into the waves. One after another, they gave themselves over to the natural thrill unmatched by any manmade attraction at a theme park or fairground. It was pure joy for them, and quiet joy for me. Joy can be gained through secondary measures, as I have had experience.
While older ones got their thrills from the waves, little ones played on the shore. Building castles from red gritty sand, moistened by salt water that inched ever closer to their creations. And mothers and fathers watched attentively, while safeguarding the perishables necessary for sustainment throughout the afternoon. Heavenly.
I snapped picture after picture until my camera card would hold no more. And yet, was unable to do justice to the beauty and majesty of it all. The sheer glorious wonder of the vast ocean’s length and breadth. The power exuded in even one wave pounding the shore. Sand, water and sky painted on an endless canvas. Evidence of Intelligent design. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And the essence of that beauty is contained in the soul. How can my soul not but sing? My soul, my soul must sing.
For beauty and pleasure and wonder and awe are rare and exquisite gifts. And through my enjoyment of these, wonder has been renewed.