Stop, Look, and Listen

Last year I wrote a post about Christmas titled “Whimsy and Wonder.” (click here to read).  Recently, I read in The Sun magazine this quote from a Rachel Carson excerpt titled “The Sense of Wonder”:

A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement.  It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.

If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength…

I am a besotted grandmother of an almost-2-year-old.  She lives her life mindfully, in the moment.  She is thrilled to find sticks in the backyard.  She is stopped in her tracks by airplane noise and then says “We’re ok, we’re ok.”  Going to Earth Fare or Costco is always an adventure (and an opportunity to flirt, especially with men).  I learn so much from her.

I like to people-watch sitting on a bench surrounded by plants and flowers at Bicentennial Garden.  Christmas decorations delight me as much as they do little kids.  I’m learning to savor a cookie rather than gobble up as many as I can.  And to really taste the first tomatoes of summer.

I walk around the Natural Science Center with my zookeeper daughter.  She tells me about Bear, the coati, her first mammal love, who is aging.  We watch the lemur moms and dads;  she says they are her parenting models.   (She could do worse.)  And we check out Ruby the multi-colored parrot who isn’t responding the way she used to.  It might be my daughter’s pregnancy, but more likely the male parrot who moved in with her a while back.

My holiday hope and New Year’s wish is that we all slow down enough to feel wonder and awe, to sigh and relax and say “Thank you.”  It’s good for our souls. Maybe we can change the world.

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