December 4 Prompt: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
When someone mentions 'wonder' to me, I immediately think of two things: a star-filled night sky and Christmas. I suppose those aren't unusual connotations, but they certainly hold some significance for me.
Let's start with the obvious: Christmas. The season of wonder and awe. I think even more than Thanksgiving, Christmas makes me appreciative. The music, the lights, the quality time with family, even the gifts... I appreciate what I have as it becomes even more clear during the season, and I also find myself in wonder of these seemingly little things that make me feel so good. I always take pause at various times during the Christmas season to let myself wonder at the beauty of it all. I try to carry this with me throughout the year, but it rarely happens, until...
I stand and see a perfectly clear, abundantly starry night. Whoa. I remember many of these nights, where I am somewhere and I look up. I stop dead in my tracks, head craned back as far as I can stretch. I take a deep breath and exhale slowly. I lose track of time. I wonder what is up there, what it looks like from another place around the globe, how it appears if I could get closer. I wonder what else is out there... in that dark abyss speckled with such beautiful little lights.
Wonder is really just our human nature, our connection to each other and our environment. Wonder is nature. It can be easily cultivated daily by 'stopping to smell the roses.' Literally. I really just have to remind myself to do that.
There are moments of wonder. Seeing the first buds of spring while walking the dog, reminding me of new life. Feeling how solidly my feet hit the pavement when I run, reminding me of my strength. Witnessing the innocence and endless discovery of a child, reminding me that there is wonder in everything, everywhere.
The first snowfall of winter, the first thunderstorm of summer, the turning of leaves in the fall, and those beautiful flower buds in spring. Birth, growth, marriage, death -- wonder in our nature and mortality. It's all around us, if we only open, not our eyes, our souls to receive it.