A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength. ― Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
This morning, I realized that we have been living in a state of quarantine for much of April, and now easing into May. And I was struck, yet again, by that simple statement: “Be careful what you wish for.” In March I found myself tentative about Spring, uncertain about reintegrating into the world after the safety and seclusion of winter. And then, without warning, we were struck with chicken pox which took it’s time circulating through the kids and put us into nearly a month of seclusion. Just as we thought we were in the clear, we were hit with a gastro bug that rendered us homebound (and me deeply engaged with the laundry) for a solid ten days as it did it’s rounds. And as I wondered if i can think up yet another creative activity to do at home… I realized that I had wished this very quarantine in my hesitate to reengage with the world just over a month ago. So, yet again, I am reminded about the power of our words, our thoughts and our intentions. Just as I am reminded of how much I appreciate the world outside our home and the joys, diversions and excitement that it offers to me and the kids. Despite my grief, perhaps coming out of isolation isn’t as bad as it first appeared in my mind… in fact, perhaps it’s the best remedy for my battered soul.
Today, with all the kids healthy, we went out on a marvellous nature walk in our neighbourhood. All three kids walking: despite some initial hesitation on all their parts… they did it!! no back packs, no strollers, and i only carried Leo for about five minutes just at the very last stretch on our way home!! For a three hour excursion with a six, four and two-year old… I was pretty impressed with my team.
Along our walk, we found a snail… a marvellous, large, beautiful snail. The snail offered a wonderful distraction to pause and engage with our surroundings. The kids picked up the snail and placed it on a rock. Isabel found a perfect, beautiful leaf which she hoped would be the snails bed. After picking small greens for the snails meal, she picked up the snail and placed it on the bed… which the snail proceeded to eat!!! It was life in action… and the wonder in the kids eyes to witness and experience it was pure magic. The kids insisted on taking the snail home to be our pet… but i managed to convince them to leave the snail in it’s natural habitat… though seeing their tenderness, perhaps the snail would have lived a very happy, peaceful snail life in our backyard!!
It made me ponder about the values I wish to instil in my kids… as they grow, as they learn, as they move from babyhood to childhood to pre-adulthood to full grown adults (one day!). I was moved by this amazing sense of awe, of wonder… for in that also rests a sense of respect and responsibility… for ourselves and the world around us; and in that rests the courage to be present and engaged in life… and perhaps, to be vulnerable; and in this wonder rests a sense of joy that is inspired by what is around us and inside us… and perhaps, even, a sense of faith in that which cannot be explained. Add to that confidence and integrity… compassion and hope. Such tall orders for these three remarkable spirits who bless my world… yet in all of this, i suppose i want simply what all parents wish for their children… that they have the courage to live their life in laughter, the inspiration to manifest their dreams in love, and the vulnerability to do it all with humanity, humility, wisdom and grace. And i pause to wonder… whether all this simply comes down to a true, deep sense of… Wonder.
And so, if i had one wish this Mother’s Day… it would be to inspire this wonder in everyone. Happy Mother’s Day to all… celebrating our mothers, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, future mothers… and mother earth herself… with a sense of wonder and pride.