Insects buzzed and clicked in the heat of the early afternoon. A semi-truck grumbled and interrupted the peace, as it climbed the hilly highway in the distance.
The boy studied the clouds and thought about how high in the sky they float. Did the vulture think about the dangers of flying so high or did the bird just take the heights for granted? The boy believed the vulture was studying him from a distance, looking for signs of life. There was a possibility the bird hungered after the boy for its next meal. The boy laughed at the sky.
What about those huge clouds? If they are made out of water, why don’t they drop to the ground and crush the tiny town across the highway? What is it like inside the cloud? Are there really angels playing harps on top of the clouds? The boy pondered these questions and soon drifted into a light sleep.
The boy dreamt that he was a nomad wandering across a desert in ancient times. In the distance was a river, a city and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The dreamer floated above the blazing sands and flew ever nearer to the fabled magnificent gardens. At last, he would experience them for himself. He could then behold the truth.
A crow caw-cawed. The cry awakened the boy from his nap. He thought about the dream. Did it mean anything? The boy climbed down from the haystack, then walked through the field towards a shade tree.
The silence of the afternoon was a catalyst in the boy’s drive towards understanding.
The silence offered the boy new ways of seeing, questioning, understanding, and thinking about his life. The boy felt appreciation, thankfulness, and most of all, wonder. Wonder, the word, is the root of the abused adjective, wonderful. Wonderful and awesome are overused in the English language. This overuse has caused us to overlook why the words may have been coined in the first place.
Wonder is the emotional feeling of astonishment, of awe, of deep admiration, and deep curiosity. Wonder and awe wash over us in the presence of a beautiful scene in nature. Wonder springs from within in the face of an extraordinary, remarkable experience. Wonder is present when we ponder the mystery of the Universe. Lovers feel wonder when they gaze into each others’ eyes.
Sometimes we need to let go of the multi-tasking, the busyness, the frantic pace, the agitation, and the distractedness of daily life. We’re so engulfed in the particulars and conflicts of our civilization, that we fail to see the wonder of our civilization.
We can take a deep breath now and then to mentally step away and feel the wonder that lies waiting within our minds. We find a willingness and a pleasant ache to reveal our deep sensitivity. We approach our lives with profound curiosity, and the hunger to learn. Wonder makes us want to discard the myths and misinformation about life.
Wonder is present in new-found discovery. Wonder happens when we let go of the fear of difference and find our inner compassionate natures that have always been present. Wonder is revealed when we drop the veils of delusion and superstition and partake of the crisp reality that surrounds us.
A natural willingness to learn and satisfy our curiosity spontaneously manifests when wonder engulfs the mind. When we feel the strength of silence we are awash in profound happiness and feelings of freedom. The old explanations and shibboleths no longer provide satisfaction. We want to declare our independence from ignorance.
Wonder is the beauty of naked reality. Wonder is present as we begin to live life with an open heart and a still mind.
Why do we waste so much attention, energy, and time trying to avoid, repair, or annihilate people and experiences we fear or are ignorant of? We can break out of this vicious circle by allowing ourselves to learn and understand someone or something we have feared. People and things that used to make us wince with dislike become interesting. We can feel the wonder over who and what they are. This compassion blows us away.
The feelings of wonder are a vital component of our humanity.