When I wonder, and when I remember people, events, and things that bring me wonder, I find myself walking in love and in awe and feeling beautifully and humbly human and small and powerful all at once. It is also when I am in wonder that I feel the most spiritual and actually the most like a spirit or a soul and most in harmony with purpose.
And yet I forget. I forget all the time that one part of my mission in life is to walk through this journey with a sense of wonder. I’m remembering to buy spinach or get gas or to send an email about that agenda; all of the clutter and fodder that moves our brains frenetically forward in whatever paths we have forged by habit or necessity in this US 21st century.
I feel lucky though because when I’ve forgotten long enough, wonder always returns. I begin to remember wonder again because I have designed it into my life. It finds me in the friends I have made, the food I choose for my body, and the stuff I feed my mind.
How I feed my mind is a very deliberate diet, which includes what I read, what I watch and what I collect, both physically in my surroundings and in memory as well.
Some of the experiences of wonder from my life that have helped build this philosophy (with no apologies for cuteness) include:
Sea glass. The unexpectedness of it. The transformation of it, from function to found art. The soft light catching quality. The smooth-rough feel. The life-long-treasure-finding excitement of it.
Hummingbirds. I specifically remember the first time I saw a hummingbird; we lived in Massachusetts, it was spring, I was eight, and this shimmering, precise, tiny beautiful soul dived down to collect nectar from a purple flower in our front yard. In that moment, one of the foundations of this wonder-philosophy in my life was born. In that moment, I could see the possibility of hummingbirds being the origin of the myth of faeries. In that moment, I knew that there would always be more to discover.
Indian food. I was 16, and on a trip to London, when I was introduced to Indian food. If my culinary experiences before that were like a house in which I already knew every room, this was like finding a hidden annex with rooms and flavors and more treasures to explore. Cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel, fenugreek, paprika, ghee—newly discovered colors on an artist’s palette. And again, in that moment, I knew that there would always be more to discover. Including the fact that people put gold leaf on their desserts, and therefore you can eat gold.
Invitations. The invitation to dance, hands touching in a school gym. The invitation to kiss in the midst of a snowstorm and the mixture of warm and cold. The invitation to travel where things and people and coincidences of wonder I can’t even imagine exist around every curve.
And so, in this spirit of community, I am sending out, on digital wings, an invitation to Wonder. Here it is—a communal call to play a life-long game of “I-spy,” but instead of red or paprika or vermillion, it is “I-spy-wonder” in which we share with each other and remind each other of all of the wonder that resides in and surrounds us all the time.
I’ll start. #ispywonder @soulgrowthradio