#reverb10: wonder

Reverb10 question for 4 December:  How did you cultivate a sense of wonder this year?

By breaking it down to the simplest things.

It’s been a tough year for our family – my fall on New Year’s Eve, and Kristina’s massive concussion in the spring – these injuries lasted into the year, the treatments extend into now.

We also did some wonder-full things – a winter trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, another to visit family and colleges in the summer.

After my fall, when I hurt too much to stand or sit for long, I wondered at how I had not broken any bones.  I found wonder in the coincidence of my husband being home to find me on my back in the driveway.

When my daughter could not finish her sentences or find words, I waited, and noticed other things.  I wondered at the ways her body was protecting her, giving her brain time to heal.

I suppose I cultivate a sense of wonder by always looking for the positive, the upside.

If that is hard to find, I seek the thing to be grateful for.  Even if it’s an, “at least…” as in, “at least I didn’t break anything” or “at least she didn’t end up in a coma.”  Sometimes that is the best I can get out of a moment.

Then I can move from a place of gratitude for the “at least” onto more positive things.

I am grateful for all the time Kristina and I had together while she recovered, even though it was hard.  I wonder at her healing and recovery.

Wonder and gratitude are inextricably linked for me.

On the days when I could no longer cope, or find anything good to focus on, I took my dog for a walk in the woods.

That was my balm, a soothing touchstone for my soul – the changing light through the branches, the variety of birdsong and squirrel-chitter, the shapes of leaves and textures of moss and bark, the nesting eagles passing overhead with a warning cry.

This year, in early fall, I saw a coyote in the woods near our home for the first time.  A few years ago, in late spring, a barred owl welcomed me to her neighbourhood with a long unblinking stare.

I feel the same sense of wonder when I go to a beach, not so much a tropical beach of uniform sand, but a northwest beach full of life, a complete ecosystem of waves and limpets and moon snails and sea stars and kelp.

The constant waves – sometimes a crash, sometimes no louder than the pulse of my own blood – this is wonder, this helps keep my troubles in perspective.

Wonder and nature are inextricably linked for me.


On the Christmas calendar today: a pair of hair pins with tiny beaded purple flowers


  • Oh dear. The camera hasn’t had much exercise lately. I hope to give it a workout over the holidays, capturing some of the moments with our loved ones, but I usually forget – I’m just being IN it, you know? You know, I know. She is lovely – I will ask her to put them in, so that I can show you. AND I will ask someone to take a photo of the three of us, sometime over the holidays.

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