Last month I had the pleasure of participating in the Central Wisconsin Book Festival.
In that presentation I wanted to talk about wonder, partly because in Begin with a Bee we talk about wonder:
Here’s the wonder:
her tiny body, (not even an inch)
holds everything she needs to create a whole colony of bees—
this year’s bees.
That is the wonder. And wonder is all around us in the natural world. I have come to think wonder is a key part of our lives.
Rachel Carson has written in The Sense of Wonder: “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…if a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such git from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”
As I was visiting with the festival attendees I ask them to share their wonder with me.
A few days later a festival participant sent me this experience of wonder:
I was inspired by your discussion of wonder as A Sense of Wonder has long been a favorite of mine.
You mentioned going out to look for wonder. Here are some wonders from my regular walks around town and at various lakes nearby that I want to share. Lilacs with blooms in late Sept in north central Wis. Gold finches hanging on the cup plants in my backyard as they gobble seeds from the tall plants which are often swaying in the wind. Sun’s warmth on my legs when sitting on the park benches. Varying patterns of ripples on the water depending on direction and intensity of the wind.
Thank you for reminding me to focus and record my nature observations!
Wonder is all around us. Phyllis Root sent me this photo of Minneapolis sunrise on October 19.
Rich and I went to a nearby state park—the Wapsipinicon State Park—and were frequently struck speechless by the beauty and the wonder.
There is much to be done in our world. Wonder helps us to do it, gives us the energy and the gratitude to give back, to do our part, gives our kids a grounding in a world larger than themselves and a taste for mystery.
Sometimes I think we need wonder as much as anything, and much more than some things.