I Wonder About Wonder

Amazing.  You put a really small hard shelled funny shaped seed in the ground, you water it, you watch.  And somehow a whole life form comes bursting out of the casing and reaches upward. 

I look at seeds in wonder.  I think of whatever is the magic within them that is hard wired to become something distinct – tall or short, pink or purple, fruit or vegetable, tree or flower or shrub.  How does all that energy and possibility exist in such a tiny tiny space?  Smaller than what I imagine to be a computer chip (but I’m sure I’m wrong there!), the unassuming slip of a thing holds a full span of life waiting to come to fullness.  How can something so small house something so mysterious, complex, large?

Holding a seed makes me wonder about wonder. 

When I really look around at creation and at people, at colors and life, at art and design, at words and stories and histories…  I can’t imagine why I am not bowled over with amazement tens or hundreds of times an hour.  What makes me unable to see the raw reality of so much mystery in process everywhere I look?  Is it auto-pilot settings?  Or, as I read recently somewhere, the “mixes” we have going in our heads?  (The author spoke of tapes or trains of thought we are accustomed to entertaining as a mix on an IPOD that we get in the loop of hearing.  They might be “the sky is falling-some catastrophe is en route” tunes, the “I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life/vacation/family member” collection, the “I am a horrible person” or “I am – thank God – better than he/she/them” or “I find my identity in achievement/possessions/money/recognition/my significant other” playlists.)   Whatever the collections of accustomed tunes you and I replay (and wouldn’t it be fun to list our own collections, so we know when we are tuning in and can make a conscious choice about what we listen to), they often take us away from the immediacy of the moment and the wonder of now. 

GODISNOWHERE.  God is nowhere?  God is now here.  Where are we?  And what makes it difficult to come to now?  Why is it so hard to let go of the tapes, to do what is easy, to simply relax the tension and be?  The why is probably the wrong question entirely, the wrong approach.  Instead, perhaps we need the heart of a child or the wonder of the blind man from last week’s Gospel who sees for the first time in his life.  Forget the reasons we run or the obstacles or the cause of the tension.  Remember – re/Member – reconnect with what is actually happening and unfolding within us and around us.

Spring is a moment in life’s cycle that each year nearly knocks us over with the invitation to see with the eyes of the heart at the million mysteries unfolding around us in creation.    See the not-quite leaves that make the tree branches look like slightly feathered fingers.  Check out the abundance of cherry blossoms, and every other kind of blossom.  Notice the vividness of the yellow in daffodils, the shades of red on the robin’s breast.  Look for the slow collection of grass and twigs by a home-building bird.  Smell the new life possibilities in the sweet smell of turned earth.  And hold a single seed in our hands for a full 15 minutes, with wonder at the complexity of the mystery it houses in the life it can bring forth. 

Dare to wonder.  And I’ll meet you there.  To wonder about what life would be for you, for me, if we lived in wonder… and what we miss when we don’t.  But, as an old poem said of regrets, ‘even that is washed away in the fullness of now and the promise of tomorrow’, so don’t spend much time on the tapes of ‘see what I’ve been missing’ and bring your curiosity and open eyes to the next amazement. 

I’ll meet you on Wonder Way.  Gives new meaning to Jimmy Stewart’s It’s a Wonderful (Wonder-full) Life, huh?

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