Oh, The Wonder Of It All
"If I had influence with the good fairy, I would ask that her gift to each child be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life." -Rachel Carson
A sense of wonder is absolutely essential as one ages. I have always been blessed with one, but if one doesn’t have one, it is never too late to develop one. True, it requires attention, fortitude and a desire to change, but one entering the twilight of life will be defeated without it!
First off, hang out with kids. Kids have a natural sense of wonder. Last week as I shopped for navy blue shoes, I spied a Nike T-shirt that read "Today Has My Name Written All Over It." Wow! That T-shirt had my grandson, Frank’s name written all over it. Frank, at eleven, wants his name written on every day. I bought the T-shirt for Frank and could not wait for him to see it. When I gave it to Frank his eyes lit up, a BIG smile slowly covered his entire face and his brain sprung into planning mode. "Yeah, I’ll wear this on football practice days!" I was as enthusiastic as Frank and could picture him strutting onto the field to practice wearing that shirt, his little chest out, his eyes gleaming. Then I could see the laughter and enthusiasm of his team mates. I could see their Moms out looking for that shirt because most eleven year olds want any day to have their names written all over it! For a mere $14.00 I had bought Frank a T-shirt and bought myself an afternoon of wonder.
Secondly, give yourself away. In my sixties I met a woman in my art guild who was 82. Her name was Verna and she seemed to suffer from a depression that comes with aging. She still had some enthusiasm because she was still painting, but she complained constantly that the world paid little attention to her. That interested me because I had had the feeling as I entered my sixties that I was becoming invisible to the world. I thought about Verna and her depression and after much thought realized that at 82 she had received all the attention from her world that she was ever going to receive. Then, I thought of a remedy. Verna could begin giving to others all that she had received from her world for 82 years. She could begin giving to others everything she wanted for herself; attention, love, caring, compliments. By doing that she would be involved with people, she would have purpose and she would feel wonderful. Sadly, when I suggested this to Verna, she looked at me like I was some alien creature. She dismissed what I had told her and wrapped snugly around her frail shoulders her cloak of sadness and regret. I, on the other hand, took my own advice and began to give away all that I have received from life. Giving myself away has planted me in the center of life and the folks in it.
These are only two of the many ways one may acquire a sense of wonder. I’ll be back with more!