As the famous Astronomer Carl Sagan once said, “My wonder button is being pushed all the time.” I think that what he meant by this is that it’s great to be alive because the world is full of wonder and it can be found in the simplest of places.
It’s not necessarily the big things that provide the most happiness. Sure they can provide a sense of satisfaction but are they truly the things you’ll remember as you move through life? I don’t think so.
So when things get tough (and they will), you get sad, feel a little overwhelmed or just plain glum, try hard to think of the following.
When we take the time to look around us, wonder is everywhere. It’s in the smell of the earth after a shower of rain ~ especially when rain is much needed. You can find it in the breath of a newborn baby or if you stick your nose deep into a blooming rose. It’s certainly to be found in the scent of bacon sizzling in the pan on a Sunday morning after a jolly good sleep-in. And believe it or not, it’s also lurking in the smell of lanolin and sheep shit as you leave the shearing shed after a hard day’s work with Kevin.
You can find it by watching a spider busying herself in her web or seeing the sunlight stream over distant hills. And the stars. Oh the stars! Now they surpass mere wonder and cause a feeling of true amazement as we appreciate the vastness of the place we call home. Remember how we used to lie out on the grass late at night waiting for the next shooting star? Remember how it made you feel?
You can hear it late at night with the thrumming of cicadas and the sound of the ‘thunk thunk’ of the sprinkler. It’s right there in the sound of a newborn lamb bleating for its mother or the sound of your own mother snoring loudly late at night. It’s even to be found listening to the early morning sounds of your city waking up.
You can feel it when you get an award at school or when you give your favourite pet a tummy rub. Sometimes it comes when you remember to hand in your homework on time or get the best seat on the bus. It’s definitely there when you help a friend feel happy and safe or make your Dad laugh at your silly fart jokes. It’s eating a hot jam doughnut or a bucket of hot chips on a winter’s day while you cheer on your favourite sporting team. And it’s scoring a goal or try yourself for the first time and having your friends give you crazy high 5s all over the field.
It’s reading a book from cover to cover all by yourself. Don’t you think there’s something deliciously secret and thrilling about that? It’s singing at the top of your voice to 1D or Taylor Swift. In fact, her advice to “shake it off” is a good philosophy to apply to life in general.
By taking the time to appreciate, really appreciate, the small things around you, most times the things that feel big, difficult or sad will vanish away like butter on hot toast. This is my promise to you.
And for me? Life continues to be wondrous. Wondrous because just when I thought I could learn no more, you came along. You shifted my boundaries and gave me renewed opportunity to learn and grow with you and through you. This is your gift to me and it’s the best present I’ve ever received.
All my love,