When I was in college, I took the oddest--and coolest-- biology class ever. My professor insisted that in order to properly study science, we needed to appreciate it. He said that the world in general has lost its sense of awe. Our first assignment was to go anywhere in nature, sit for half an hour, and just feel it. And then of course write about it, which necessitated thinking about what we'd felt.
I try to remember his advice sometimes when I start to get stressed, or just bogged down in the daily trudge through mundane things. A few days ago, I bundled up the Kiddo and took him out on a walk. Normally, I stick him in his stroller to go to the park, but that day I just let him wander along the sidewalk next to me.
We stopped every thirty seconds.
We stopped on the yellow bumpy strip that alerts blind people to a crosswalk, and stomped on it to really feel the bumps. We poked at the green shoots popping out of the dirt, ready for spring. We picked up wood chips and sniffed them.
The whole walk was Kiddo-directed, and included running back to favorite spots multiple times. We didn't make it that far down the street, but it didn't matter. We weren't going anywhere. We were just enjoying.
As I watched the enjoyment he had in such small things, I realized I had been missing those things. I wasn't paying attention to the feel of bumps under my feet, the contrast of green plants against brown dirt, or the rain-drenched scent of wood chips, because those things weren't important to me.
Not until our walk, anyway. On that walk, those things were very important as I re-discovered my sense of awe. I really paid attention to the world, and to all the wonderful things in it. When we got back from the walk, I was filled with contentment.
So, my friends, do something to find your sense of awe today. Let it replenish a life you constantly spend emptying with all your daily tasks. Do it to refill your writing coffers, but also just to do it to be alive today. And please share. What things do you do to refill, recharge, and rediscover the world?
Pic is of the Kiddo when he was still the Bambino, getting his first exposure to spring.