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Posts Tagged ‘Awe’

The Joy of Wonder

Who wouldn’t be full of wonder at seeing a Cooper’s Hawk sitting calmly in a tree? – Photo by Pat Bean  

Little Things Mean a Lot

“It doesn’t have to be the Grand Canyon, it could be a city street, it could be the face of another human being – Everything is full of wonder,” wrote A. C. Grayling, a former British university professor and author of over 25 books on philosophy.

I agree. And I also believe my continuing ability to retain a sense of wonder and enjoyment, whether it be about the passing landscape during a country drive or working a jigsaw puzzle with a granddaughter, is one of the greatest blessings I enjoy during this eighth decade of life. I still wake up looking forward to a day in which I might learn something new.

It was easy for me to keep this sense of wonder when I was a newspaper journalist because everyday was different, and I was usually involved in newsworthy stories, from interviewing people like Maya Angelou – my favorite interview of a 37-year career – to learning about cold fusion, a topic that kept me up researching most of the night before the next day’s interview.

Thankfully, however, I have managed to maintain my wonder — even as my days have become less active and more confined.

Yesterday, I was awed by a story in the New York Times about an eight-year-old Idaho boy who wrote and illustrated an 81-page book, the Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis, and then stuck it into his local library’s fiction section.

When the librarians learned about it, they were charmed and entered it into the catalog system in the graphic novel category because of its many illustrations. By the end of January, 56 people wanted to check it out.

The book had lots of spelling errors, for example, in “Chaptr 1,” Dillon writes, “ONe Day in wintr it wus Crismis!”  But the tale is a good one, the librarians said, and goes on to transport Dillon, both the protagonist and the author, on a time-traveling adventure after the star on the tree explodes.

Spelling, I long ago came to realize, is not as important as being able to tell a good story. A good editor or, these days spell check, can correct the mistakes.

Wondering, meanwhile, is how I have come to look at life. For example, wondering if our resident great horned owl recently increased its nightly hooting because it’s looking for a new mate. In recent years, I’ve always heard one hooting owl getting a hoot back from a second owl. Currently I’m hearing only one bird’s voice.

Wondering, at least for me, is often as satisfying as finding an answer.

But not always. I wonder how come there seems to be so much hate in the world these days, and no answer to this question would make me feel better or satisfied.  

Thankfully stories like Dillon Helbig’s Crismis lets me forget about that for a while. And to remember there are still good news stories out there to read and wonder about.

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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