“I hope I never become so used to the world that it no longer seems wonderful.”
The above card with its Ashleigh Brilliant quote is the one I gave to me on my 61st birthday last year (2012). It’ll remain hanging in the kitchen till the day I depart; I just love, love, love it! This year’s birthday brought great cards, too (it’s wonderful to be known and seen so well by others, isn’t it?). I want to share two of the new ones.
“Show me a day when the world wasn’t new.” Sister Barbara Hance (1928-1993).
Irish author and poet, David Whyte, writes in Sweet Darkness, “When your eyes are tired the world is tired also. When your vision has gone no part of the world can find you.” I thank my Soul that, even in times of darkness I still have a font of wonder at what most of the world passes by (or seems to). Always it calls to me. The purple berry underfoot; the flap of the prayer flag outside my office windows; the beauty of the Stink Bug when I look at it under my magnifying glass . . .
In a dark depression a few months ago, on one gray Sunday afternoon when I could find no peace on earth, I opted for the fallback play we native southerners use for both good and bad times: “ridin’ ’round.” And naw, we don’t use them newfangled navigation thingamajigs when we do it. We jes’ navigate by internal compass (and reasoning, sometimes).
I headed north, and more north, then east to finally turn onto a long, lonely, unknown-to-me road in Franklin County. Suddenly, a little whirlwind decided it was time to bring Autumn’s dry leaves back from the dead, so they started dancing, twirling and whirling in front of my car! Involuntarily, I laughed out loud, simultaneously observing the laugh and the depression, the yin and yang of my life right then. For the next week or so, I remembered that laugh, letting it be a touchstone, a reminder that, as the Boy Choir, Libera sings, “Yet in the dark and cold of things, there always, always something sings.”
A few days before Christmas we had one of those more-normal-than-it-oughta-be-for-this-time-of-year warm days and nights. I was reading on the screened porch about 9:00 p,m. and savoring the weather, dressed in thin, gray long-underwear bottoms and Daddy’s old oxford cloth shirt (a kind of comfort food) when a white SUV stopped in front of the house. “We’re ridin’ ’round lookin’ at Christmas lights, Amy! Wanna come?” It was three of my friends. “Yeah!” I said, “and I know some good ones!” I hopped up, leaving the house open wide to the balmy night and went ridin’ ’round with my peeps. When we got to the lights I wanted to share, we got out and walked the fence line of the wonder-filled two acres, excited and exclaiming, ooh-aahing like little children. As we were headed back to the truck, well . . . I just couldn’t help myself. Sometimes a girl’s just gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!
Saying a quick prayer, I took a flying leap and dove right in, landing face down in the hugest, softest pile of leaves ever. After a few seconds taking stock of my body (I’d survived, but was I alright? I seemed to be), I turned over to spread out like a hot lunch atop the mama’s lap-like bed of autumn’s bounty, awash in pure wonder and child-like bliss.
I can’t say that I know exactly what my friends thought about me doing what I’d done, but one of them got pretty excited, turning into a movie director before our very eyes, laughing delightedly as she directed me and the woman behind the camera so we’d have real live documentation that I, 62 year old Amy Lou Pierce, who does her best, if not to make friends with, to at least make room for the rheumatoid arthritis and other pain-based auto-immune conditions that keep her dance card full, would have photos to prove that she’s still got it! Is young at heart and in love with the wonder of it All. The Director actually had me make the leap three more times, two for video. Of all things! (Links below)
Yeah, sometimes a girl’s just gotta do what she’s gotta do. One thing I know for sure: I’ll never become so used to the world that it no longer seems wonderful. My wish for you is that you find your own way into Wonder, whatever that may be, then do your best to kindle Wonder in the memories and hearts of others.
Peace on Earth is not just a pipe dream, but first you’ve got to give it to yourself.
You’ll know. But here’s some hints: Watch for it to dance in front of your car; feel it support you like a mama’s lap, let others see you being foolish, even at your age! If you’re not young in body, you can certainly be young in heart, and that’s contagious. As we’re fond of askin’ in the south, “Is what you got catchin’?”
“Yes, sir, but in a really good way.”
P.S. My “director” sent this painting of St. Catherine, comparing it to the photo of me lying in the lap of the leaves. Eerie!
Click on the following links if you want to see my winter -fall Wonder. (Note Santa in lights behind watching over my foolishness!)
© Amy Pierce and In Spiritual Wonder, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Pierce and In Spiritual Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.