December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)
Winter 2010 was cold, hard, long. I was well into this season of being the lone parent, as my husband had moved due to work obligations, and our house continued not to sell, and I continued not to find a job where he was living. Money was tight, Vitamin D was low, and sick days piled up, early morning phone calls explaining to my boss why I wasn’t going to be at work again. My birthday came and went, barely acknowledged. Dreams of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration with adult beverages and no responsibilities died a quick, painful death. I’m sure this was a low point in the weird kind of depression I have – the kind that ebbs and flows and sometimes things are ok and sometimes everything just sucks – and spring could not come fast enough.
And then spring did come – flowers, bunnies, leaves on trees hesitantly showing themselves…sunshine, warmth, Easter. My best friend Jeff came to town for our traditional Easter dinner (steaks, mashed potatoes, salads, something for dessert…) and we sat out on the deck in the fading, then faded, light and talked about things that mattered and things that didn’t, things we wanted and things we were afraid of and things we knew we would have to let go of to get the things we wanted. Soon after, he graduated from his Master’s program, and talked of the power of writing down his dreams and he inspired me to write down my own. The wonder of watching someone’s dreams come true, especially someone you love…well…that is one of the most wonderful things a human being can experience. And I know the next thing he has written down, and when it does come to fruition my sense of wonder will again be awakened.
Summer began with a trip to the beach. The ocean, she speaks my mother tongue. And I was wonder-struck again. The sand, the sun, the surf, the salt, the breeze, the heat, the vodka – all of those things were balms to my soul. Watching my girls truly play on the beach for the first time was absolutely priceless. I came home refreshed, rejuvenated, tanned, hung over, and totally in love with outdoor beach showers. Summer heated up and I was less wonder-struck. A little heat is ok, too much and I am cranky, irritable, prickly. Fall couldn’t come fast enough. Seriously. Here in NC, you can’t really count on a cool down until Halloween.
But it did finally cool off, and the leaves changed, and I was again wonder-struck. The colors were beautiful. The air was crisp, clean, clear. The blue of the sky was the kind of color I crave – pure, tingly, not muddled by smog or clouds or haze. I remember driving to work with the sunroof open, looking at the sky while I was at stoplights, wondering why and how and when the sky got to be just that blue…wonderful….
And as always, winter tried to sneak in. I got extremely reasonably priced tickets to take my girls to see The Nutcracker…and the day of the show, it sleeted. And snowed a little. And it was all fine and we could still go and we saw the show and it was amazing and I watched my two girls watch the story unfold, and they watched with wonder, and I thought about how I had dreamed of this day since I found out I was having a girl, and all of the pain and the angst and the worry and the tears and the waiting – it was all worth it, for this moment of wonder – this moment of wonder through their eyes and through mine.