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A little sense of wonder

posted 4/11/2011 9:47:08 PM |
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“Her species has been granted limited but significant intellect, also emotions and hope. What most separates her from humankind and other higher life forms isn’t her mental capacity, however, but her innocence. Her self-interest expresses only in matters of survival, never degenerating into the selfishness that is expressed in an infinite variety of ways by those who consider themselves her betters. This innocence carries with it a clarity of perceptions that allows her to glory in the wonder of creation even in the most humble scene and quiet moment, to be aware of it every minute of every hour, while most human beings pass days or even weeks – and too often whole lives – with their sense of wonder drowned in their sense of self.” Dean Koontz ~ One Door Away From Heaven

It struck me after reading that that I know a lot of people who are just that way. People who are so caught up in themselves that they don’t notice the intricacies and complexities, the simplicities and the subtleties, the obvious and evident, the everyday wonders that surround us all in our everyday lives. We don’t live on this world ~ we live in it.

It seems that as we grow older we also grow more oblivious. We all too often think of ourselves as too busy or too mature to try to hold on to that wonder and innocence. We are most of us encouraged to grow up and put away childish things but I think we would all be better off if instead we were encouraged to keep that sense of wonder about the world we live in. I know a lot of you will think that is too simplistic. So be it. I have to wonder though. I know from my own experiences that the world isn’t easy. I’ve lived overseas in several other countries. I’ve seen things most Americans will never see. I know life can be hard and dirty and nasty. I know so many people who try to opt out of the world, with drugs ~ both legal and illegal, with alcohol, with work or a jaded view of the world. People who are simply never happy with and in and of themselves. People who don’t seem to realize that happiness doesn’t just happen for the most part but that it is a conscious, deliberate choice and that retaining a sense of wonder and innocence can be a part of that choice.

When was the last time that you took the time to pick up a single leaf in the fall and really saw the combination of subtle shades of colors, the way they melded together, the intricate tracery of veins, saw and felt the difference in the texture of the bottom versus the top of it, examined the shape of it, the way the stem connects to it and yes even the smell of it ? When was the last time you sat just listening to the sound of a river on a sunny day ? Heard the difference in the sounds of it as it slides and glides and flows over and around and between the stones and boulders ? Listened to the gurgling, thundering, rushing ? Felt the coolness and mist coming off of it ? Saw the thousands of glints of light and hundreds of shades of colors in it ? When was the last time you sat with your eyes closed listening to the birds early in the morning ? When was the last time you marveled at the natural world we live in ? When was the last time you found yourself living in this world instead of on it ??

I have been one of the lucky ones I think. My father taught me young to see the world instead of looking through it. My grandkids have helped keep that alive in me. It has been a struggle at times to keep that point of view but I try to make sure that I walk through the world as much as I can instead of on it.

Dean Koontz was talking about a dog when he wrote that paragraph but I think it should apply to all of us as humans as well. Perhaps we should strive to be more like the animals we think ourselves so above.

Here’s wishing each of you less sense of self and a huge sense of innocence and wonder, along with clarity of perception in this busy, hard, noisy, tiring, frustrating, wonderful, mystical, awesome, beautiful world. Hold on to it for all you’re worth.

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The Flower Garden Part Three
The Flower Garden Part Two
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Apr 11 @ 11:10PM  

Apr 12 @ 7:47AM  
One of the things I love most about spring and summer is getting up just before the sun rises and listening to the birds morning songs. For the most part, I can identify a sparrows song, a robins, bluejays, cardinals, mourning doves, and the various finches around here. It's quite musical really. And in the summer, on days I have off from work, I'll sit on the back deck with my coffee and just enjoy all the songs the birds are is quite the choir.

There is a wildlife refuge in the area here with hiking trails, one is 1 1/2 miles, the other is a 5 mile. I love the 5 mile as it takes you deeper into the refuge where you can hear all sorts of birds and see wildlife in it's natural setting. And the deer aren't so jumpy out there either. They actually hold still long enough for you to get a picture of them before running off with their white tails high up. But, along that trail are benches where you can just sit and imagine a life before cars, before phones, (as long as you remember to turn off the cell phone. ), before a lot of the modern technologies we all can't live without. It is so peaceful....sometimes, I would love to just stay there and not come out.


Apr 12 @ 9:27AM  
Plumb purty story..
Kudo to you my dear..

I too have been in many countries, some of which a lot of ppl never heard or knew about..
Give me America, even with all of it's political, bureaucratic bullshit !!

Apr 12 @ 9:56AM  

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A little sense of wonder