Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Wonder. It means a cause of astonishment or admiration(first usage 12th century), although I prefer the synonym marvel, which means intense surprise or interest(first usage 14th century). Many thanks to Merriam-Webster for those definitions and history lesson.

A long time ago I read a book by Florence Scovel Shinn, and in it I found the phrase "I will look with wonder-----". There was more to the sentence, but that first part caught my attention, and still does give me pause.

How often do we 'look with wonder' at anything these days? We are all of us so bogged down in an avalanche of mundane tasks that we forget to 'look with wonder' at the world around us. Most days we don't even bother to look beyond the end of our noses, and that is a shame. Because there are lots of beautiful things out there, just clamoring for our attention, our wonder. I remember a line from the movie The Color Purple where one woman tells another that "it pisses God off if you walk past a field of purple" flowers and don't notice. I agree with that sentiment.

I've been playing at gardening in my 'spare' time, trying to grow both flowers and veggies. I've planted several things in the ground as well as in pots, and some of those things have started to grow. I noticed this afternoon that a potato plant(a BLUE potato, no less!) is beginning to peek from the dirt of a pot in the front yard. I thought that was marvelous, since I have the worst green thumb on the planet. I tend to kill more plants than I am able to grow, so much so that I was purchasing only cacti, because they are so difficult to kill. And I have even killed those! Yet there was that potato plant. It made me pause and "look with wonder", if only for a moment.

Take a moment and "look with wonder" at something. A child's face, a rose in bloom, the smell of the air after a gentle rainfall, etc. It will improve your mood, if only until you find another mundane task to swallow your attention.


  1. I try to 'loose' myself in the moment - more and more each day. When my kids were babies it was easy to 'look with wonder' at things as they first discovered them... now.... life seems to get in the way! Wonderfully written, thank you! ~KM

  2. Considering the last thing I looked at in wonder was all the yuck in my kitchen sink, I'm sending you a thank you for giving me the wake-up call I needed. Thanks!

  3. great post, and good reminder that we should often stop to appreciate all the world has to offer.


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