So how do you find your sense of wonder if you have somehow lost it? Be present in your body. Don’t worry about the past you can’t change it. You can only change what you are doing right now. You can’t change the future because it hasn’t happened yet and circumstances change. You can only be present in the now.
So how to be present in your body? It’s a lot like meditation to start. Become aware of your body. Feel the air that you breathe in and then let your breath go. Become aware of any ache or pain, acknowledge its presence and then let it go. Do not ignore it just let it go. Your pain is part of you but it is not you. Be aware of everything you body is doing inside that you can feel. And then let it go.
Now comes the fun part. Turn your attention to what is outside of you. You can do this in a building but it is better to do it outside if you can. Feel the air on your skin. Is there a breeze caressing your cheek? Does it tickle your eyelashes or ruffle your hair? Be aware of Air.
Look up. Are there birds? Do they fly in a straight line? Watch them are they doing loops? How do they fly? Or are they lying in wait to let a poop drop on your head? Be aware of the sky. Are there clouds? Do they look like mare’s tails or is a mackerel sky? Are there thunder heads or is the sky clear or hazy. Be aware of the sky.
Be aware of the Earth. Is the ground level beneath your feet? Or is it tilting slightly up or down. Is there a bug crossing the sidewalk or creeping under the bush? Are there squirrels chasing each other and chittering at each other? Did a neighbor plant a new tree or some flowers. What is different from yesterday? Do you even know?
Being full of wonder is noticing things. It’s seeing what is different and what is the same. It’s opening your eyes. It’s how you can visit a wildlife refuge every day and never be the same but your street or backyard can be just the same. Did you hear the mockingbird for the first time in a month at 5 am. What the heck is he doing singing at 5am singing in fall?
Are the squirrels getting fatter in your neighborhood and do you notice new plants coming up because they hid them around the yard or in a planter. We have a new foot high sunflower in a pot that I know I didn’t plant.
Now that you’ve noticed what is there, find the pleasure in it. Just enjoy the colour of a leaf in the sun. The shine and sheen of a raven’s wing, the fullness of a squirrels’ tail. Let it make you joyful because the secret of having wonder is finding the joyfulness that is outside you and bringing it in. In a way, it’s the best way a pagan can pray. It’s the essence of what the phrase, “I see you” means when the Zulu say it in their language as a greeting and the answer is, I am here.
I try to live in a state of awe and wonder. That is my main spiritual tenet. I find that lets me approach the world with an open heart. This is not always easy to do but it enables me and demands I notice the mockingbird singing it’s heart out at 5am on a season that is not usually conducive to mating. He’s a little late but still he’s out there singing.
It enables me to notice on my walk to the bus the bending, swishing heads on the ornamental grasses on the way to the bus. It enables me to forget that if I’m not standing or walking my back doesn’t hurt as much. It enables me to forget that most days I seem to have a sign on me while riding on the bus that says, “Sit next to her and fart.” (especially if it’s going to be silent but deadly).
It lets me appreciate the changing view out my window and still accomplish my assigned set of tasks and not be bored.
I try to see the world as new every moment and that there is always something new to be curious about. That there is always something to ask “why?” about.
That to me is the essence of being a pagan/witch/druid. If you aren’t curious and aware, what is the point if you aren’t doing your best to notice what is around you? Even in the middle of downtown grass will fight through a sidewalk and a pigeon will be somewhere around.
So are you living in wonder or are you wondering why you are living?
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