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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Whimsy and Wonder

Where are whimsy and wonder this time of year?

I used to have a very hard time seeing anything but angst and grumpiness and things that made me sad.  Over the years it’s gotten better.

I like to go the mall in December.  Not to shop and not on the weekend! I go to look at the decorations and watch the children visit Santa.  We saw a rough-looking Santa at Crabtree Mall in Raleigh the other day–too many days outside without sunscreen or too many Jack Daniels, I think.  The harried parents get my sympathy.  The excited children feed my soul.

(One of my daughters was afraid of Santa.  The other asked me before she got to kindergarten if Santa was real.  I promised myself when she was born that I’d never lie to her.  I didn’t.  Sigh.)

I like Christmas music.  The classics, of course, but I have 2 country cd’s that make me smile every time I listen to them.  I even like “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer“.  It’s good to laugh and be silly.

Our church has a candlelight service at 11 pm on Christmas Eve.  It’s quiet and peaceful and reverent.  My brother and our grown children won’t stay up late enough to go, but Mike does.  Then we drive through the neighborhood that has these amazing light balls hanging from trees.  (Here’s are some pictures.) It’s magical.

This year we’ll have Adaline. She will be 10 months old on Christmas Day.  I think she’ll like the blinky tree lights.

Does your holiday include any whimsy and wonder?

Have you looked?