Monday Musings…. What a Wonder Full World It Is!
“Grandma! I found a worm!” exclaimed my granddaughter with delight as she dug with a trowel in the dirt in her back yard. “Look at it move!” Now, she had no idea of my recent distaste of the phylum, Annelida, and thought that I should share in her delightful discovery. And so, over I went to peer into the dirt at her eye level to marvel at this crawling creature. She was absolutely full of wonder.
Wouldn’t it be great, if everyday we displayed this same excitement to search, to learn, to know more, to appreciate? Instead, as we age, there seems to be this slow fade, where things, especially simple things, just don’t seem to excite us anymore.
Why is that?
Maybe, we just take for granted what we have; we get used to objects and even people, and life just appears mundane. Or it could be the busyness of our lives – that we simply don’t take the time to appreciate what or who is around us. Or maybe it’s the harsh truths we get hit with that people can be unkind, that life can appear unfair, and that decisions can be made that seem unjust.
It’s not difficult for some people to take a day full of sunshine and find some flaw in it. You’ll hear those drawn out whines of: it’s too hot to go outside, or the UV rays are too strong. The reality is, it doesn’t take long for children to discover that the world, and the people in it, are flawed.
As we surveyed the backyard garden, my granddaughter asked why some of the plants looked dead, when just a few weeks ago they were vibrant red flowers. Her five-year-old little mind couldn’t make sense of why flowers couldn’t live forever and she sighed and said: “that makes me sad”. I told her it made me sad too, that even the most beautiful things don’t last forever.
So, whether you want to use the Laws of Thermodynamics, or the results from the Fall of Man, decay and disorder and discouragement are part of the human experience. That’s true.
But, in case you thought we spent the rest of the day in despair, lamenting about death in the natural world, I informed her that next spring the red flowers would come back! And what a wonderful thing that was to look forward to. I explained that just like her birthday comes every year, so do these flowers. “Ok Grandma! Just like I turn 6, the flower will have a birthday too!” She saw the wonder in the midst of the decay.
BUT, does it make sense to you? Are you able to see the wonder in your current circumstance, when you are feeling worn out or weary?
My granddaughter then noticed the birds tweeting away on the fence, and turned to me with excitement asking for a literal interpretation of their chirps. I told her that I didn’t know what they were trying to tell us, but that they sure sounded happy. And she said she was happy too. Then she saw a number of birds flitting here and there and she asked if they might hit each other in the air. She was genuinely concerned about this disordered flight pattern and worried about them getting hurt. I reassured her that they had a special communication system and that they looked out for each other. I explained that it was sort of like what she does when she says “Watch out, Harrison!” when they are running around the backyard. “That’s right, Grandma! I do that!” She expressed awe in knowing there was a purpose in the birds’ songs and flight even when it might appear to us like disorder.
Are you able to marvel at the birds that wake you up in the morning and serenade you to sleep every night? Or do they annoy you. Can you find the wonder, knowing that each new day gives them reason to sing, no matter the weather? It’s rather remarkable to think about the birds. And, can you marvel at the times of disorder in your life, thinking disaster would surely come, but then somehow it helped you get things back in order and on the right flight path?
She then saw a tiny bee gathering pollen from a bright orange tiger lily. She was amazed at how it ‘worked’ and then of course how it flew off to make its deposit. “He’s working so hard, Grandma! He must be tired!” Without losing a beat, she then had the brilliant idea of becoming a bee herself! She moved the small trampoline to the base of the kiddie slide, climbed to the top, jumped down and sprang forth on the trampoline. “I can fly Grandma! Just like the bee!”
When you’ve been working so hard and feel discouraged from making little progress in the circumstances of your life, can you pivot, and spring forward with a new idea to improve your current state?
Children just seem to adapt in a way that we need to consider as adults. So, embrace your inner 5-year-old and realize that the world, with all of its decay, disorder, and discouragement, can be a wonderful place!