Wonderment is possibly the single most joyous expression of humanity’s attempt at understanding the unknown.
Now that I’ve gotten a little depth out of my mind, let me meditate on this subject for a while. Hopefully I will not stray too far from the topic (as you are probably aware, my mind likes to wa(o)nder).
I Believe many of us remember our childhoods fondly (at least those of us who have what might be considered a “normal” childhood). I know that I do. The Innocence and Wonderment of Childhood is often something many adults wish to recapture. Also the simplicity of a Child’s life, i.e. the minimal responsibility & lack of major stresses which often are characteristics of our earliest years on this plane of existence. Many religions and spiritual paths hold childhood as something sacred & children (in particular) as sacred & important to our spiritual well-being. My own spiritual path follows this line of Belief. The Druids hold Children in awe. They view Children as having a greater ability to connect to the Spiritual (even having the ability to perceive through their senses the Spirit World – much easier then Adults). They are also Individuals we should take time & learn from. To view the world through a Child’s eyes is to essentially reconnect with the sense of Wonderment which helps Individuals connect more strongly with the Spiritual.
Indeed, as an Individal I have always strongly Believed in this philosophy. As a teacher of Children (which I have had the immense pleasure & priviledge to have experienced in many different ways & venues in this lifetime) I have been able to see this philosophy at work in real life. But what really has brought the entire concept of Wonderment home to my poor Imperfect Soul is my son, Connor. It is one thing to experience the Wonderment of a Child who’s only relation to you is social or professional. It is completely another thing to have the same experience with your own Child (parents, I am certain you understand what I am saying & have experienced this Wonderful Wonderment yourself).
Connor is now three and a half years old. He is at an age where his own imagination and creativity is beginning to show itself. I Believe he comes by his amazing imagination quite naturally (I myself has a vast imagination, if you have not noticed from my writing & other artistic endeavours), but perhaps this is just the ego of a father talking. At any rate, the fact of the matter is that he has an amazing & vivid imagination. He is always telling my wife & I tales of his adventures with his favourite teddy bear, Audrey – as well as all his other stuffed animals. And these stories get more complex with each telling. It is amazing to witness his imagination at work & help him breathe life into his world.
But what really grabs me, in the depths of my poor Imperfect Soul, are those times when his curiosity & his imagination come together. It is at these times that his sense of Wonderment with the world really shines the brightest. There are many times when he will ask my wife or myself a question about something – how something works; what something is; etc… & then he will be quiet for a moment or two (which for a pre-schooler, remember, is mere seconds) & then he will tell us some fantastic story about what-ever it is he asked a question about & how he (& most often Audrey) are connected to it. Let me give you an example to clarify what I mean. Connor is always asking me which other lifeguards I work with on a given shift. He, of course, knows all the other guards and the pool attendants because I talk about them & because he goes swimming at the pool. When I tell him which guards & attendants I am working with on a given shift, he then tells me & my wife that he is working with other guards (who do work at the pool) & that his shift runs from x-time to y-time. This is what I mean. Connor’s mind has a sense of Wonder for the pool because I work there & because he has spent a lot of time there & knows pretty much everyone who works there. He is able to use his curiosity (Who are you working with today, Dad?) & his imagination (I’m working with so-and-so today for my shift, Dad) to express this Wonderment.
My Child constantly finds a way to turn something that is relatively mundane for me (my job) into something Wonderful. This is the True blessing of Children – their ability to transform the most mundane things & experiences in our poor Imperfect Material World into True objects & experiences of Wonder.
So, the next time you hear a Child playing make Believe or talking about their day, take a moment & Truly listen to what they are saying. Perhaps you too will find the same sense of Wonderment they have & connect a little closer to the greater Spirit that surrounds us all.
Note: Originally Written Thursday, January 13, 2011 Connor is now 7 & his imagination is still amazing. Audrey, his bear, still figures prominently in all of his imaginative games.