the essence of wonder

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~

To see a World in a grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake

 ~

A while ago, I had the pleasure of visiting one of the great Wonders of the World: Niagara Falls. There I stood, at the foot of a cliff, with only a railing keeping me from plummeting into the raging gorge. Below me, gallons upon gallons of water freely fell. I was surrounded by people from different countries who came to see one of America’s great scenes. It was surreal.

I can only imagine what it would have been like when there was nothing but barren land surrounding the falls like a picture frame, with nothing for miles, and you can only hear the deafening rush of water. And now, I can only close my eyes and imagine the wind and mist kissing my face like a long lost friend. Sometimes I think we take for granted these moments, the ones filled with innocent wonder.

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I’m still taken aback by flying in a plane with clouds below me. When I was a little girl, I was just like any other little kid, wanting to know what it would be like to fly. I even wondered what it might be like to walk amongst clouds. There’s something about reality that takes away the charm and beauty of life. It’s hard to make out the art in the world around us within the constant hustle bustle of daily life. Everything we see has become a routine, we’re used to it, and thus, we have become visually impaired.

But you see, in the height of impossibility, there is wonder. In the essence of wonder, there is art and beauty and a pure resilience. There is life. And in life there all three of these things are present. I close my eyes and I can see moments in my life that are sheer wonder and brilliance that I’ve never noticed before. It’s in silence as I stared into the firelight glow while waiting for conversation to start between the rest of my companions; it’s in the starlight as I gazed at it with tired, yet wide eyes; it’s in the bright Autumn air as I followed the ones I loved through wooded hills, our feet crunching fallen leaves on the ground. It’s all there. In every moment and in every silent word, there was wonderment.

 

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Honestly, it doesn’t matter what you’re looking at,

the beauty is there.

You may not understand what I mean; you may not grasp what I’m trying to say. The thing is, the essence of this wonder I am trying to write about isn’t something I can easily put into words. It’s not explainable. You have to experience it for yourself. And when you do, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

 

If you have ever been to a place that nearly takes your breath away because it’s so beautiful, or perhaps there is a person in your life that simply amazes you to the point where you have no words to say, just silence stands between you and them, yet both of you know—your hearts know—that’s it. When you see something, and it makes you feel as though time and space have come to a halt, that is it.

 

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That is wonder. That is beauty.

That is art.

And my friend, that is not something you want to let go of. Looking down at the infinite fall of water reminds me that it’s all here. Every piece of life that revolves around me holds a portion of uncontainable iridescence. We just think that it’s out of our grasp. In all we see and hear, we are accustom to believing we have seen it all. In the midst of the pain, heartache, loneliness, and vulnerability of life, we expect very little and yet so much, when in reality, we’ve experienced and seen very little. Everyday, there is something knew and beautiful to see—diamonds hidden away just waiting for us to dig them out.

 

I want to look at things with wonder and excitement, as though today is my last. Because, as cliché as it sounds, it’s real and true that I may not see tomorrow. I want to hold onto each moment, each little wonder I find in life, because the next thing you know, it’ll be gone. Take it from me; I know what it’s like to lose. But I’ve learned to never forget the best of what I’ve seen.