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  • Writer's pictureAnna Byrne


Updated: May 18, 2020

Wonder : a cause of astonishment or admiration

: rapt attention at something mysterious or awesome : to marvel at miracles

One of the gifts of wandering is that it invokes wondering. Wondering makes good use of wandering, though neither are concerned in the least with ideals of utilization. But having slowed the body by wandering, the spirit is primed to begin its way of seeing. Wonder is surprise with a generous helping of appreciation. The eyes of wonder are the eyes of a child. There is always something fresh, something novel to be discovered. The eyes of a child are closer to the earth. They see particularities in bugs and blades of grass that go unnoticed by adults, elements that are simple yet exquisite. They become worthy of attention and owed admiration. Wonder is spacious and expands the tidily-kept borders of our depth of field. What is beautiful, unfamiliar or even daring can be welcomed. The senses amplify. Details normally skimmed over or drowned-out by the world’s chatter can now be attended. It is to look at the features of a well-known face as if for the first time. It is finally perceiving your deepest longings and relishing in them.

And, to wonder is to shift your perception from acquisition to inquisitiveness; to see something in its singularity, for and as itself, without the need to appraise or critique it. The gaze of wonder reveals what is already present. It is to ponder the world with one-part imagination and one-part realization.

Encountering the world this way is refreshing and counteracts the habitual glossing-over of our lives or the reduction of people and things to our preconditioned ways of thinking about them. Wonder stands on the cusp of awe. When mixed with reverence, wonder creates an intoxicating state of marvel. To enter into a lifelong kinship with wonder is the vow of the novice and of the master. Under the spell of this vow, every-thing and every-one, shines with its own revelation.

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