Wonderment. A word that is used by most adults in a manner other than its intended meaning. We look at adult things and adult situations and have a sense of wonderment that goes something like this: ” What were they thinking when the wore that.” or ” What kind of person does that now days”.
As we get older, and life’s raging tide of change and responsibility rushes over us, we lose something very dear to the human soul. That is a sense of wonderment. It is, I believe, very much needed to keep us truly alive. Instead we become money makers and people shakers and get bogged down by debt, status and the everyday things. We lose the presence of Wonderment among the rubble and clutter of our lives.
Several years ago I lost a great job and career due the failure of big business to play nice, and honestly, with others. I had already started the process of NOT defining myself by what I did for a “living”. It was and still is an ongoing project with me. What I started doing was writing and taking photos of things I wanted to, things that sang and sing to me. Wonderment showed up in both.
What did not show up was a regular paycheck for about two years and with that someone else would have lost any sense of wonderment. Not me. Why? Because I also worked as a landscaper, painter and fixer upper of old things till a steady paying job was found. There were stories in each project just waiting to be rediscovered. Wonderment was fining its way back in to my old tired heart. The heart of a child was starting to peek through. Wonderment.
I was seeing and enjoying firefly’s more than ever before. I felt the joy of planting something , tending to it and watching it grow. O’ the sense of wonderment became a living, breathing thing! I took pictures and long walks. I had hard and wonderful talks with The Bride, friends and strangers alike. I was and am still being challenged by some of those talks. Wonderment showed up in all the fields I tended to whether physical or of the spirit.
I also reflected more on the price of my freedom and I am still amazed at the dedication of those who serve. I also am amazed more by the One I can call on freely because of them. Freedom has a high cost. Thank you seems to small but that is what each wants. More wonderment.
Then along comes someone on this delightful, yet surprisingly serious path, a man who started me down this strangled route in search of the words for this story. A story that would and will serve as an example for the need of Wonderment. That man was a gentlemen I called Uncle. To be fair everyone called him that but I did not call him that at first. He was one of my company’s clients. I am from the old school by default of birth. So I call people by their giving names till I earn the right to call them what their family and friends call them. I earned the privilege to call him Uncle.
Uncle resided in an Assisted Living facility and I would have to visit him on a regular basis. Did I mention he was in the memory ward? No? Well he was and the visits were lets say sometimes repetitive. I gave him my best and he always said Thank You. It is now my time to say Thank You Uncle.
I had to visit with him on an equipment issue right after he had a downturn in his health. He noticed me looking at the Hummingbird feeders outside his window. The conversation turned to them and he warmed up to the subject of these fascinating little birds. Uncle informed me that the females come in to eat while the males are chasing each other out of their territory. The next exchange about Hummingbirds had me filled with wonderment.
Uncle ask me if I knew how Humming Birds get to their Southern home. I knew they had to Migrate south but I thought there was a secret I was missing so I said “No, not really.”He said “The fly up and land on the geese and then ride the geese all the South”. He must have seen a look confusion on my face and thought I was doubting him. So he looks at me out the corner of his eyes and he said” Google it”.
I did just that. I goggled it and was hoping Uncle was not mistaken. I wanted to believe because I was filled at Wonderment of how cool that would be! I was not disappointed by the real and amazing journey that is the Hummingbird migration but I discovered that we discover the facts after a sense of Wonderment such about things.
I hope in the breath of existence I have left of this Blue Marble I will be able to be a child at heart and be filled daily with Wonderment. Uncle Thank You.
I love this! You are right on the mark. I have actually never grown up. The result of that is a child’s sense of wonderment. I also had something bad happen to me in ’07 which essentially ended my career, and I still struggle to make sense of it. Thanks for writing this my wise friend.
I cannot take credit for being wise for I am simply doing what I feel I must do and that is write, breath and put one foot in front of the other. Unlike you my friend I have always had an old soul and old soul’s needs newness, wonderment and grace to stay child-like.
Thanks for the kind words Mike. When the time is right I hope understanding finds you filled with wonderment and contentment.Till then my friend Peace.