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The Two Sides of Wonder

Self and everything else

Twenty tiny toadstools emerging between stalks of grass.
I wonder at toadstools emerging in lawn at Evergreen.

Have you ever felt really small, and really big, at the same time?

Years ago, when my children were young, I took them to the Perth Observatory to peer through the giant telescope at the night sky. I wanted them to feel really small, and then to feel that, although they were so very small, they were also part of something awesomely big.

I wanted them to be filled with wonder.

I wanted them to wonder about themselves and everything else.

To wonder about only one or the other of these two is to miss out on half the meaning.

I remember seeing the Horsehead Nebula that night, but my strongest memory is what happened to the little old lady in our group. Initially we gathered in the reception area, then followed an enthusiastic astronomer outside for a short walk through the dark car park to where the telescope was housed. The very old lady tripped over a speed hump. After being helped up and dusted off she said, ‘I was so busy looking up at the stars, I didn’t notice what was at my feet!’

The best sort of wonder is balanced. It switches back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, between these two aspects of the one thing – self and other.

To wonder only about yourself makes you unaware of your fathomless context.

To wonder only about everything else can blind you to your fathomlessness.

The world needs more wonder.

If there was more wonder in the world, there would be less wars.

So, today, find time to wonder at yourself, and everything else.

If you’ve lost the art of wonder through the process of growing up, here are a few pointers:

  • Wonder is eyes wide open, really looking.

  • Wonder is ears intently listening.

  • Wonder is nose twitching and taste buds zinging.

  • Wonder is mouth shut.

Have a wonder-filled day!

Love, Marlane

To experience some wonder, take the free 7-Day Mindfulness Challenge. It will enrich your day, your week, your life!

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