Wandering into Wonder
What wonder and curiosity teach us
“The key to a wonderful life
Is to never stop wandering into wonder.
Because to live a predictable life,
Only fills a person with strife,
And such a person will always be wondering:
'What a limitless life could be lived beyond the lines?'
Such is a question a curious spirit would never sit forever and ponder.
So always pursue new ventures in your life,
And be willing to open doors to different light;
This is the only way to keep it magical and always filled with wonder.
Days will feel shorter, but your happiness will grow stronger --
Because living a life without curiosity and adventure,
Is a stale life where days only feel longer and
THE SPRING FOR WISDOM, 1993”
― Suzy Kassem Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
Wandering into wonder, I love everything about this invitation. Wandering is to be in motion without an aim or direction. It's following where the path leads because there is a path to follow, not because it's leading somewhere specific. Wandering happens only somewhat intentionally. Sometimes magic happens when itineraries and schedules are set aside in favor of a few moments of aimlessness. The dictionary suggests words such as stroll, amble, saunter, dawdle, putter, ramble, meander, rove, coast, and tootle as synonyms to wander. (Such great words!) When was the last time you dawdled? Or puttered? Have you tootled about recently?
Wonder is everywhere and most often hiding in plain sight. It's found when I'm working to stay open to what might be smaller and deeper. Wonder pauses to see the shape of a leaf, a hive of wild bees, a cloud formation, the light at dusk, and the hawk in flight. The pursuit of wonder isn't only outside; it's a new idea that shimmers with possibility, that breathtaking line of powerful poetry, tasting a new taste. It's art, dance, music, and words. Wonder is not in short supply; it's everywhere.
Wonder ignites curiosity. Wonder is a wide-eyed, open palm, awe. It observes the small, the mundane, and the obvious while finding the mysterious. Without wonder, curiosity is left without its heart.
"Curiosity taps on the shoulder lightly and invites you to turn your head a quarter of an inch and look more closely at something that has intrigued you."
-Elizabeth Gilbert-On Being Interview May 2018
It's noticing the small ideas, sights, and feelings that catch the eye and trusting it might lead somewhere. What intrigues you?
"It may not set your hair on fire. It may not change you or the world. It may not even line up with previous things you have done. It may feel random and make no sense. The reason people do not follow curiosity is they are waiting for a bigger sign. Curiosity is a mild trail of breadcrumbs that you can overlook if you are looking for the mountaintop."
-Elizabeth Gilbert-On Being Interview May 2018
Wonder and curiosity are here; now, will we see? Will we accept the invitation? Will we follow the mild trail of breadcrumbs and wander into wonder?
A blessing for wonder and curiosity:
May we wander into wonder as we live our days. May we spot a mild trail of breadcrumbs and follow where it might be leading. Maybe we find the mountaintop we are looking for through honoring small ideas, small movements, and small sights. May we be people who are known for our curiosity and wonder.
Wander, stroll, amble, saunter, dawdle, putter, ramble, meander, rove, coast, tootle into wonder this week.
Be on the lookout for a ‘mild trail of breadcrumbs’-then follow it! Where will your curiosity take you? What wonder will you discover?
I wandered into wonder three years ago when I accepted a somewhat random invitation from Michael Kroth to write haiku poetry, share a haiku, and write a response- known as haibun-to haikus written by other haiku poets, and then share it once a month. (that’s random-right?) I said yes. I barely knew Michael and didn’t know the others. That mild trail of breadcrumbs has developed into my favorite Zoom call of the month.
This month we covered 6:15 sunrises, creator, maker, potter, and the call of the mountains. As always, the synergy between our haiku and responses is astounding. You can see our haiku cards at Micheal’s website, Profound Living (it’s worth checking out for all the essays you’ll find there!) (Click the Profound Living logo)
If you want to listen to our conversation, you can do that here!
These are quotes I found about wonder and curiosity. Let them inspire, challenge or inform your week!
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
― W.B. Yeats
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
― Albert Einstein
“I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ask. And that in wondering bout the big things and asking bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, the more I love.”
― Alice Walker, The Color Purple
“When in doubt, adopt an attitude of curiosity.”
― Joseph Deitch, Elevate: An Essential Guide to Life
“Gorgeous, amazing things come into our lives when we are paying attention: mangoes, grandnieces, Bach, ponds. This happens more often when we have as little expectation as possible. If you say, "Well, that's pretty much what I thought I'd see," you are in trouble. At that point you have to ask yourself why you are even here. Astonishing material and revelation appear in our lives all the time. Let it be. Unto us, so much is given. We just have to be open for business.”
― Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers
“And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.”
― Wendell Berry, The Unforeseen Wilderness: Kentucky's Red River Gorge