Monday, April 8, 2013

Searching for Wonder

Today I am participating again in the Folk Magazine Community Journal Challenge.  The topic for this week is "Take a nature walk and connect with the sights, scents and sounds that surround you. Reflect on these senses and how they affect your mood."
As I mentioned in a post last week, my word for 2013 is 'Wonder'.  As in, searching for the wonder in each day, each moment.  This word struck me for several reasons one of them involves a favorite parenting moment that occurred during a drive to school on a beautiful fall morning a year or two ago. My daughter Sophie shouted out, “WOW”, right in the middle of our prayer. She was struck by the immense beauty of a yellow tree, she couldn’t do anything but exclaim her wonder. My first response was to be discouraged because of the interruption, but that was immediately changed to awe as I realized that the exclamation was probably the most beautiful prayer we could offer at that moment. Her eyes were open, in wonder.  
With my word of the year in mind, I try to observe, even seek out as much wonder daily as I can.  This past Sunday was no exception.  The day here in Michigan started out rainy and cool.  The girls and I spent some time snuggled up on the couch.  By mid afternoon the sun came out and we knew we needed to get outside.  We started our walk around the neighborhood, heading towards the lake.  It is remarkable how a breath of fresh air can provide instant energy.  We stopped at a spot my kids call, "the rocks" because it is a rocky area leading down to the water.  The girls explored down by the water while I sat in the grass soaking in the sunshine.  Listening to the gulls call and my girls exclaim joyfully at the things they could see I felt my 'cloudy' mood from earlier in the day clear.  As we stood to continue the walk I noticed how much easier it was to laugh and to be silly after just a few moments outside smelling the lake, feeling the sun, listening to the birds and my laughing children.  We were nearing home again when I could smell someone burning leaves or perhaps starting a grill.  I stopped the kids and told them to close their eyes and " smells like summer."  They dutifully did this and when they opened them again one of my girls said, "What is that mom?  What does summer smell like?"  I loved this thought.  Right then, summer smelled like a campfire or cook out but we spent a few moments after that talking about what else summer smells like.  Fresh cut grass, dirt in the garden, flowers, even sunscreen.  All of those smells made us smile.  By the time we got home our cheeks were rosy from fresh air and laughter.  Our spirits soared with the wonder we had seen, smelled, and heard on our walk.