Friday, November 30, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Wonder

Here's my weekly link up to The Gypsy Mama for her Five Minute Friday prompt.  (Weekly?  Who am I kidding? The Gypsy Mama does it weekly.  I do it bimonthly...)  Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.  (Since I'm editorializing, this won't be five minutes.  I was up early - thank you, Liam - while everyone else slept and I hand wrote a very long ramble about Wonder.  So here it is, not five minutes and somewhat edited, over-thought and backtracked.)


Topic: Wonder

There's an idea that's been nesting in the corner of my mind for a long while now.  It usually sits quietly, minding its own business while I mother/clean the house/avoid cleaning the house/clean the children/avoid cleaning the children/etc.  But lately it's been clearing it's throat in overly dramatic ways calling me to draw it out from the tangle of thoughts it's been wrapped around.

The idea is that there are words, like wonder, that may not actually mean what I think they should. Or maybe it's that they don't look the way I think they should.  And because of that I miss them when they do show up.

Take wonder, for example.  I think wonder should stop you in your tracks.  Everything else freezes as you are overwhelmed by beauty or truth or strength or newness.  But that never happens to me anymore.  Because no matter how beautiful the sunset I still have to keep my eyes on the road while remaining semi-engaged with a chattering 3 year old who's confusing bath tubs and pools, explain to my 6 year old why radios don't work in the parking garage and tossing platitudes and/or Cheerios at the 1 year old.

So I have this fear that I've forgotten how to wonder, forgotten how to soak in something beautiful and beyond me.

But maybe I'm missing the wonder in the way that it really exists.  The kids can gaze in wonder at the sunset, but I'd better keep one and a half eyes on the road.  I'm not saying I shouldn't slow down a bit and admire and wonder, but I think I shouldn't discount little bits of wonder that leak into my day just because I'm also busy doing boring adult things.  That I should grant value to the quick glances I give the sunset and not discount it because I didn't get to sit in silence and soak it all in.

We took a long drive yesterday.  This is winter in Oregon so it drizzled some but it was still amazingly beautiful.  And for a short while the sun burst out and after the grey sky, the colors of sunlight and green grass and blue sky was dazzling.

But I'm tempted to discount all that because while we admired the beauty there were little voices in the back seat which kept asking to go home.  And I remember that by the end of the trip there were some grumpiness issues, both in the back and front seats.

I remember summer camp long ago and wandering through the woods in silence drinking in whatever beauty I found and I'm tempted to say that I've forgotten how to do that. But the idea that's been lurking is that life is tangled.  It's a massive jumble of good and bad and wonder and mundane and pain and joy.   And just because these things are all tangled up doesn't mean they are not also themselves.  Wonder, at least the way it shows up in my life, isn't all consuming and heart-stopping.  It's little snippets and glimpse caught out of the corner of my eye stuck in the middle of everyday life. So yes, yesterday my thoughts were repeatedly pulled from the beautiful forest to solve tiny problems and shush whining and call timeouts because flashlights were being swung around the car like nunchucks, but they also plunged down steep valleys of ferns and flew far off over layers and layers of green hills.

That idea that's been lurking is that a little bit of something good is still good, even if it is tangled up with some bad and some ugly.  The fact that we find something good in a small way stuck right in the middle of our usual grind doesn't belittle its goodness at all.

So even though yesterday was interrupted by some of the more tedious tasks of motherhood, I want to give the parts of it that were full of wonder all the weight they deserve.  To remember that maybe the way we run across wonder most often is as it trickles gently into the common parts of our life.


  1. A very good post and a very good reminder, though you didn't follow the rules, and I am glad for that. If you had followed the rules I am sure your post would not have been so meaningful. Wonder. I too have lost the wonder some days. Wonder... that my 26 and 23 year old daughters would want to have a tea party with their mom, that God could supply us with bread for free, which we dearly need because of 31 months of unemployment, and that my teenage son still likes hugs from his family. Oh, the wonder of it all. Thanks for reminding me to take time in the tangled mess of life to stop and wonder!

  2. oops I forgot to say that I was here from 5 minute friday... my post was right after yours. Thanks again.

  3. If I ever decide to start blogging again I will simply cut and paste everything that you write into it. That way it will all be lovely and poetic.
    Cuz, y'know, you write good and stuff.

  4. Yes--the good is still good, and I do believe it leaks in, no matter what else we are trying to do or deal with. "And just because things are all tangled up does not mean they are not themselves." I think you've said it perfectly. I keep telling myself something like, "You saw it--that counts." Thank you for such a beautiful thought, Janice.

  5. Thank you for sharing your more-than-5-min-over-thought-backtracked thoughts. :-) What good reminders you stated:
    *Have we forgotten how to wonder?
    *How often do I discount wonder for the 'reality'?
    *How often do I dismiss wonder because it wasn't what I expected?
    *Good is still good - even with the bad & ugly mixed in.
    I want to remember to keep the wonder - thank you. (visiting from 5minFri)


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