by LOIS D. CARLSON
I have a delightful little book entitled, “A Touch of Wonder,” by Arthur Gordon. This charming collection of the writer’s personal thoughts and “his invitation to fall in love with life” has captivated my imagination and inspired me many times and challenged me to look at life through different eyes.
When I was a teenager, my family took a vacation to Jackson Hole, Wyo. We stayed at a friend’s cabin outside of town overlooking a beautiful valley with thick woods all around us. It was fall and the hills covered with Aspen had vibrant shades of gold and brown. Far away from city lights, the night sky was alive with brilliant stars. And, the stillness! Indescribable.
Living in a big city with all of the accustomed noises around us, we learn to block out much of the roar. Being in a place where there is no sound but the rustle of leaves from a breeze or the crackling noise of underbrush as an animal scampers away tickles the ear with a pleasant cadence of nature.
One early morning, a heavy fog enveloped the valley floor giving it a mysterious, almost surreal appearance. Everything was dead still except for an occasional bird song in the distance. The silence was interrupted by a honking sound that grew louder. Overhead, in magnificent perfect V formation the Canada geese were heading south for the winter. It was such a thrill to watch these majestic birds move across the sky. Many years later, I have since learned some of the significance of the aerodynamics of this arrangement, and the wind factors which make it easier for them to fly—how another goose will take over the lead when the head goose becomes tired. If one of the fowl gets injured or drops out of the formation, two others will also drop out and stay with the goose until it is able to rejoin the group.
There is an important parable in this for us: team effort and working together, supporting one another, caring for each other and standing by another keeps us strong. The wonder of caring for one another.
Another recollection from my teen years was a summer evening when I was sitting on an old metal swing in front of our home gazing at the stars, dreaming up happy fantasies. Lost in my reverie, suddenly, splashed across the northeastern sky was the most glorious array of colors I had ever seen. A new happening for me. I quickly called my parents to join me in experiencing this phenomenal sight—a rich time of wonder as we fixed our eyes on the Northern lights.
Every day, there is wonder all around us: little things people do for one another; a baby being born; an unexpected check comes in the mail; or a surprise phone call from a friend. So many little things we often take for granted yet add so much to our daily lives.
What touch of wonder did you experience today?
LOIS D. CARLSON is a freelance writer from California.