“We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.”
- G.K. Chesterton
What is wonder?
Wonder is that state we experience when we are filled with admiration, amazement and awe. It also can imply the experience of questioning or doubt. Artists and philosophers often compare the state of wonder to the experience of being a young child and “seeing the world through new eyes.” The playwright, Eugene Ionesco, said, “Childhood is the world of miracle and wonder; as if creation rose, bathed in the light, out of the darkness, utterly new and fresh and astonishing. The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us.”
How do I practice wonder?
The practice of wonder begins with paying attention to our own senses. From the sound of ocean waves, to the fragrance of a rose or the infinite beauty of the nighttime sky we inhabit a world that is filled with wonders that offer themselves freely to our attention and imagination. Stopping to take these wonders in and making them the object of our contemplation is a practice that is available to us at nearly any time or place.
Challenges and Commitments of practice.
Wonder is difficult to sustain. We may pause to revel in the fragrance of a flower, but almost inevitably we find ourselves distracted by the hundreds of little “got-to” tasks of our ordinary lives. It is a real challenge to maintain a connection to those moments of wonder and let them inform our daily routines.