Turning 30 and having a baby in the same year brought about some internal challenges that I am slowly coming around to the other side of. I have found myself asking some BIG questions about life that there just seem to be no answers to (can anyone say, delayed quarter-life crisis??). It has occurred to me lately, though, that maybe the answers to life’s big questions are actually a continual process and evolution. Maybe we aren’t meant to know it all at once. Maybe we collect bits of the answers throughout our lives and these bits come together to create the big picture. Maybe?
Recently, one of these bits became more clear to me. I was choosing hashtags for a photo of mine on Instagram (I know, I can’t believe I just typed about hashtags either but bear with me) when I came across one that made me think. The photo was from a recent trip to Portland with Lucy so I was searching #pnw (Pacific Northwest), when I came across #pnwonderland (presumably Pacific North Wonderland). That word, “wonder”…it struck a chord with me. Besides being a perfect way to describe Oregon and Washington, it also embodies another desire I’ve been trying to fulfill in my life.
For me, the word “wonder” evokes a feeling of inquisitive awe, of marvel, of joy. In settling into my role as a mother, I realized that watching this feeling bubble up in Lucy as she explores this world has been one of my favorite things about parenthood. We have all heard the term “seeing the world through my child(ren)’s eyes.” I have come to understand this phrase as it relates to my child’s awe at everyday or trivial experiences that we adults have long taken for granted. Sure, I like to introduce her to new big things: we took her to LEGOLAND California recently and she’s enjoyed the zoo. But there are things every day that she wonders at, and this is my greater joy. Seeing our daily world anew through her eyes, wondering at it, well that is marvelous. Some things Lucy wonders at on a daily basis:
- The sound of airplanes flying overhead
- The different ways things feel beneath her feet
- Balloons, anywhere
I also realized that wonder is something that I have been searching for more opportunities to experience myself-something that we are made to experience in this life. There are so many amazing things to see in this big beautiful world of ours! Often I can get stuck in the day to day and then weeks go by and then months of the mundane and for me that is a stifling feeling. Traveling to Portland and Seattle reminded me of the wonder I feel going to new places: seeing things you’ve only heard of, figuring out subways and trains, eating new food. I’ve also recently spend some quality time with good friends and family who I don’t live near. It’s WONDERful and uplifting to be with people who really know you. Finally, I have increasingly found that the best things to marvel at can be found in nature. I’ve never considered myself an outdoorsy person, but I’d like to change this a little, even if it means just spending more evenings in my own lovely back yard, drenched in the sunset and twitter of the birds that hang out in our trees. More things I think would bring wonder to my life:
- Discovering new or polishing old skills
- Experiencing new things in my own city
- The wonder my child experiences in the little things
So tell me, do you value wonder in your life? What do YOU wonder at?