I recently took a religion class entitled “Religion & Ecology”, focusing upon mainly the environmental crisis we currently face and what the different religions are thinking or doing around it. One of the very first things this professor asked us was, “When was the last time you experienced wonder?”. Now she said this in such a breathy voice, that automatically my eyes wanted to roll, I did not want to take such an artsy fartsy tone to an academic course. It’s one of the reasons I don’t enjoy many of the Arts classes I’ve had to take, but this one sounded interesting. And truly it was, but I do wish that it had taken on more than what it did, there was such a large focus on Christianity, with a small amount is Islam, Buddhism, Aboriginal traditions & a smidgeon of Hindu. I was a little upset that there wasn’t a single mention of Paganism/Wicca when the environment plays such a large role in their beliefs & traditions. I actually chose to write my final paper concentrating on role of the environment in modern day ‘magical religions’ and how the environmental crisis may affect their practices. I was not prepared for the broad scope it turned out to be and it made me feel a little more for them as their difficulties will only grow as the world continues to promote ‘growth’ in the way we do. And so throughout the course, I continued to think about how jaded I’ve become & how commonplace my surroundings have dwindled down to. So many things are taken for granted every day, by all of us but I am trying to turn myself around. Be aware, for more than just safety’s sake, of what is happening around me. So here are a few of the things I’ve stopped to experience, and to appreciate the ‘wonder’ in each of them.
Spring time has always been a favourite time of year for me, the moisture washes away the dirtiness of the past winter, things begin to smell good & the warmth begins to come back. Though, admittedly this year the warmth is still on vacation it seems. But what I’ve found fairly recently, is that a stand of trees that appears barren from afar will begin to show you its buds of life the closer you get to it. It was such a neat realization that I found myself continuing on just looking for the moment in which I could see the green peeking out and challenging myself to try and see it before I got too close.
Everyone knows I love my dog, well I love all my pets but there is something special about my Zacky. The way he looks at me sometimes makes me feel like he can actually understand the love I feel for him, something so humanizing when he waggles his eyebrows at me and stares at me with his big brown eyes. The way that he snuggles into me at night, puts his head on my lap/shoulder/butt and sleeps so deeply that I know in some way that he feels complete trust in me to take care of him & make sure he’s never hurting, however dogs feel that sort of thing. I am not a believer in animals experiencing human emotions, but I am a believer that they do experience emotion of some sort & I wish that I could understand it on their level, not my own. But every time I look at him, hang out with him and give him love I can see with awe just how special a relationship with a pet really is, he’s my best friend. I spend more time with him than I do with my husband, snuggle with him more too ;-p
I mentioned this on Facebook the other day, but I’ll mention it again. Living in Halifax, we see our fair share of military people but what always gives me a bit of heartache is watching the Navy ships pull out with the crew standing at attention on deck. I don’t know if they are headed out for awhile or just doing exercises at the harbour mouth, I don’t know nearly enough about Navy activities to know their normal practices but either way, I always think about families that get left behind with only hope in their hearts that their loved ones will return unharmed. I cannogt even begin to fathom that type of fear or returning to normalcy after a return.
I don’t make friends easily, the ones I do have have been around for a very long time. I’m a drifter, I drift away and don’t give a whole lot of myself to very many people but yet despite that i have certain people who will always be there for me whether I give a lot of myself or not. When I need them, they will be there. And with that, the strength in a relationship like this makes me wonder. It makes me wonder how I’ve gotten so lucky and thankful that I have. I keep telling myself not to take these relationships for granted but yet somehow I fall into those patterns until some alarm goes off in my head and says, “hey you, wake up & call a gal, will ya!” That relationship can be so strong as to allow one to have a relationship with someone as precious as her child, that is pure wonder.
I have to admit, whenever I thought of awe & wonder previously I often thought of it negatively. I am quite fond of saying things along the lines of, ” Makes me wonder how someone could get through life this far being so stupid”. I’m not saying I don’t still think that way often, there are just some people that make me shake my head, but I’m trying to also put the good stuff in there. Trying not to dwell on the negatives all the time, opening the eyes to the wonder in the world.
Mission accomplished Dr.Hale, mission accomplished.