Chasing Wonder

When I was young, my mother would pull us out of bed, 2 AM sometimes, in the chilly darkness. She would slip into our room with an excited whisper and gently shake us awake “Come see the moon! It’s so beautiful!” We’d race down the stairs and out onto the deck, sometimes stopping for a jacket and boots. We’d stand under the light of the full moon for a moment, listening to my mom talk about why it was so big and full that night.

My mother chased wonder. I didn't know it then, but I am seeing it now. She knew that out there, beyond the walls of our home, the screens on our walls and in our pockets, lay something incredibly magical and she knew we needed to see it.

The other morning my children woke up early, really early. The kind of early that makes you question your life choices. I opened the window to see what it was like outside and my three year old noticed the first signs of the sun rising. "Mom look at the sun, look at the sun!"

The clouds had just started to turn a deep orange. As I looked out the window I was struck by that childhood memory of my own mother whisking us outside to catch a glimpse of something wonderful, and I sprang into action. I bundled my kids up and we went for a sunrise walk. Both kids were very quiet, very content wrapped in a blanket as we walked. The street was really quiet, there was the faintest of breezes. The clouds slowly shifting from that deep bluey orange of early dawn to warm yellows and reds, spreading across the entire horizon. My three year old had lots of questions, as usual, about why the sun was rising, when would it get dark again and why was the sky turning yellow. In all his questions there was an air of excited curiosity, a joy in discovering something new.

Our children are born with this sense of wonder, this ability to experience awe. As we grow, I think we forget how important and valuable wonder is. We need those experiences immersed in the wild beauty of our earth, to keep us connected, to remind us what really matters, to fill our lungs with air and just marvel at something as ordinary as the color of the sky. In a fragmented and fear filled world we need this feeling of wonder more than ever.

I am grateful for my mother showing me how to wonder, encouraging me to explore, even as a tired parent, in the wee hours of the morning.

I choose to chase wonder. I choose to wonder at the world, alongside my children. We won't be dwelling in fear and uncertainty. We need slow mornings and deep cups of tea. Shared conversation under tall trees and long, leisurely walks by the river. Come chase wonder and cultivate slow with me - sign up for the newsletter!

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