Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hang on to curiosity & wonder

I have heard that we lose our natural sense of wonder and curiosity as we age. It seems we gain so many things as we age—including wisdom and a comfort with living in our own skin. But we lose some things, too. Curiosity and a sense of wonder are two things I don't want to lose. They provide such a beautiful perspective on life.

Little children are our models here. We can let them be our guides. Watch their behavior as they notice even the tiniest things around them. Listen to their curiosity take flight. Why this? Why that? Each why leads to 10 more questions. And because of those questions, they learn so much. Because of that sense of wonder, children experience so much joy and enchantment.

It's true that they don't have the cares and worries we have. But what if, rather than constantly focusing on our worries, we set them aside from time to time and just noticed things around us? Tried to recapture some of that childlike wonder and curiosity?

Stop for a minute or two. What do you see around you that you hadn't noticed before? The richness of color in that picture hanging on the wall. The velvety texture of the flowers you just bought to grace your kitchen table. The sparkle in the eyes or smile on the lips of your loved ones in the photos hanging on your refrigerator door. The blue of the sky above. Ah, there's so much to see.

I like what poet Mary Oliver says: "I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

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