Yesterday, Facebook sent me a “memory” that reminded me of the wonder in the everyday moment. It went like this:
Me to my son: Make a wish (as he was about to blow a dandelion).
My son: I wish with all my might that I may blow all the seeds off this dandelion and watch them fly away.
I listened in awe as my four-year-old son gave me a lesson in being grounded in the here and now moment and in finding wonder therein.
I didn’t need Facebook to remind me of that moment. It is etched in my memory. I cherish it and many more moments that remind me of the wonder in the everyday. It’s the reason I have dandelions on this site.
Before I continue, I am writing “everyday” to mean “ordinary.” It would also fit to write “every day” because wonder occurs every day. But are we present enough to see it?
Wonder is in the Present Moment
As I prepare to move my family across the country to California, I think about the big adventures I want them to have. The son mentioned above is now 13, our future summers together are limited. So I am thinking, “Where shall we go? What will our next big adventure be?” Essentially, I am making a wish on a dandelion for some future moment. And as I wish, I leave the moment and the potential wonder found therein in order to plan for a big wondrous moment in the future. It’s OK. There’s a balance between being grounded in the here and now, and moving inwardly to plan. The problem is when we consistently use fantasy to escape what we are experiencing in the here and now. Because, then, we often miss out on what we are needing to heal and grow.
Wonder Resides in the Everyday Moment
While big trips and experiences together are wonderful, they aren’t exclusively wonderful. The everyday moment offers an abundance of wonder. The everyday moments of wonder are the moments, in the here and now, that connect us to and invite us to delight in the truth in ourselves, others, and the world around us. They often occur in very little, soft, quiet moments–the everyday moment.
As a play therapist and a parent, I experience that relationship, resilience, and healing all occur in these little wondrous moments. These moments are where our hearts speak and listen to one another. They are where love grows. They are how families connect and build strong bonds. They are where community–a true sense of sisterhood and brotherhood–is built.
Wonder is Found Out There and Within
Usually, we can all agree on the wonder we see “out there” in nature. It’s part of the reason why so many of us agree in the efforts to protect and sustain our environments. We go to great lengths to seek out those experiences of wonder and awe. Yet, we have a harder time seeing the wonder in ourselves and in others. We don’t see it staring at us in the mirrors and faces we see every day!
We aren’t born that way. Babies and children often delight in themselves and in others. They explode in delight, laughter, and applause at their accomplishments–like rolling over, crawling, walking. These are all everyday wonders. They don’t have the judging and discounting mechanisms that we adults have, the ones that strip the wonder from the everyday moment. We adults model it for children to learn. We learned it too. If we can learn it, we can unlearn it.
Wonder Changes Us
What would change for you if you allowed yourself to delight in the wonder in the everyday? Would you stop discounting your progress? Would you delight in yourself? Would you delight in others? Would you see someone’s disability differently?
What if we took the judgments and discounts off of people? Labels restrict and distort wonder.
When we label someone, we restrict our view of them. We believe we know them. We stop being open to finding delight in the moment with them–especially if we fear their label. Yet, it is easier to label people (the other) than it is to label society (us).
Today, I invite you to see the wonder in the everyday. Start with nature, then seek it out in people–yourself and others. Finding wonder in the everyday moment will change how you view life. When you change how you view life, you change life for yourself and others.