Posted tagged ‘wonder’

“Life is a fairy tale. Live it with wonder and amazement.”

November 22, 2016

Last night was winter. It was cold and windy. My sweatshirt wasn’t quite enough. North of us got a little snow. Thankfully, we were spared. It’s bad enough the temperature is below freezing without adding snow. Today too is really cold. My heat is blasting.

For some reason, the first few days of Ghana popped into my head from my memory drawers. We were all staying at a school in Winneba. The only view of the town was from the second floor balcony of the dorm. I could see rusted metal roofs and palm trees. That was it. It could have been many places, but on the way to my first language class, I saw geckos scurrying away from me. They were green and the first ones I’d ever seen. I remember looking at them and realizing I really am in Africa. It is one of my most vivid memories. I can still picture where I was standing. I remember the whitewashed cement wall about waist high, its flat top and the greenery close to the building and the steps. The wonder of that moment is something I haven’t ever forgotten and is still a delight. Just imagine being in Africa.

I have a few things to do today so I have to brave the cold. This is Gracie’s favorite time of the year because she can ride with me. It’s cold enough that she can wait in the car.

I got a notice for jury service yesterday. I’ve gotten them before and was dismissed three or four times and excused once. For one dismissal they kept us until after lunch when we were told the defendant had taken a plea bargain and we were not needed. That was like a Law and Order moment. Only once did I get so far as to be questioned about my suitability for the jury. I was excused. Come to find out I was excused because I was a school administrator, and the trial centered on some sort of discrimination surrounding the non-rehiring of a female administrator. I guess the prosecutor figured I’d be sympathetic. He was right.

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“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

April 27, 2014

Today is the same as yesterday: rainy and damp, the sort of damp which brings a chill. It’s socks and sweatshirt weather.

Today while I was watching the rain fall I realized I have seen wonders all of my life. When I was a little kid, falling snow was mesmerizing. Each flake fell gently and silently and glistened in the street light. I watched from the front window to make sure the street was getting covered. That gave me hope for a snow day. Thunder and lightning never scared me; instead, I was delighted. The flickering black and white TV screen was like magic. Every day brought delights some as lowly as a grasshopper caught in a jar and others as lofty as an airplane with a white tail.

When I was older, a teenager, the wonders didn’t cease. My friends and I wandered Harvard Square, went to museums and watched movies at the Orson Wells. We rode toboggans at the golf course and went to drive-in movies for the fun of it. We celebrated Mardi Gras on the third floor of the library with our forbidden food. We felt like rebels. We were there to watch the start of the space race. All of my science fiction stories were coming to life. It was amazing.

College was the wonder of learning new things, of being on my own and of meeting new people from all over the place. My insular life started to disappear. I began to look way beyond my boundaries wondering what was there for me to find. I wanted to experience the unfamiliar, the unexpected and even the uncomfortable.

I couldn’t believe I was actually living in Africa. Everything was a wonder: the colors, the smells and the sounds. Each bus ride was an adventure. Market day was the most fun. I wandered the stalls, bargained and picked out my chicken. The amazing became the commonplace, and I loved every day.

In the summer, I watch the fireflies. In August I sit outside for the meteor shower. I still watch snowflakes fall under the back light. I love Christmas. In my backyard the trees have white lights which shine every night. I love looking at them through the windows. They give the yard a bit of fairyland.

It seems wonder stays with us all of us lives.

“I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man.”

December 15, 2013

North of me is the winter wonderland. My sister, outside of Boston, got either 10 or 11 inches of snow. We got torrential rain all night. I could hear it on the roof. I have no idea why but heavy rain triggers the sensor lights in the backyard, the ones geared for Gracie, to go on. They stay on until the morning light triggers them to turn off. This is the second time it has happened. The first time I thought some giant animal had burrowed into the yard, but after 15 minutes, when the lights didn’t go out, I figured it was either a very patient animal casing the yard for dinner or some weird problem with the lights.

My errands yesterday were fruitful. I found two small trees, one smaller than the other but both perfect. They are now standing in the corner of the living room waiting to be decorated, but my back is bad so that may not happen until tomorrow, but I don’t mind the wait. The trees are lovely even without the lights and decorations.

I am not traveling north to see the play. My sister said it is miserable up there, really cold and dark, and when you add my back to the mix, staying home sounds like the better choice. I’ll watch Christmas movies and drink egg nog. I just watched Reginald Owen’s A Christmas Carol and now I’m watching the Muppets get their chance at Scrooge’s rehabilitation. It doesn’t matter how many times I see this movie I love it every time.

Christmas still has wonder no matter how old you are. I love the lights on my house, and I drive by the house sometimes just to look and to admire the view. I’m sure my neighbors, should they catch me, might think it strange. If I’m on the road and a house covered in lights catches my attention, I deviate my route just to see it. On my official light tour, I stop at Dunkin’ Donuts first for hot cocoa. Christmas music now plays the whole time I’m in the car. I sing along. I sit on the couch in the living room to read so I won’t miss a single minute of the tree. The season is short enough as it is. My two sisters always have live trees. I think it is built into our genetic code. They fill their houses with Christmas just as I do and my mother did. I remember she’d come down for the weekend, and we’d go shopping. She’d buy an ornament and say, “That’s it, no more ornaments. I have enough for several trees.” Well, she always bought more and always declared it the last. I have a couple of new ones this year. One is the official 2013 World Series ornament. The other is a sand dollar made from pottery.

It’s egg nog time!

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”

July 12, 2013

The day is actually in the 70’s, and there is a cooling north breeze, but it is still dark and cloudy with a bit of humidity when the breeze dies for a bit. This morning was my monthly breakfast with a fluctuating number of women whom I worked with for years and who are now all retired. Today there were ten of us. I have nothing else planned for the day. My friend is coming to take my trash to the dump, and I’m thinking of moving the laundry from the hall to the cellar with a simple toss down the stairs. The laundry is getting closer and closer to the washing machine every day.

My friend used to say that once July 4th is over so is the summer. I actually saw a back to school ad the other night. Now I’m waiting for a Halloween or Christmas ad. Summer Santa was on the cape yesterday doing a six month naughty or nice check. He was wearing summer Santa gear and Boston Red Sox socks. The paper showed a little girl on his lap who was mesmerized by being with Santa.

When I was little, I was filled with wonder and made new discoveries all the time. The world was still fresh and unfamiliar. I got older and the mysteries disappeared but not the wonder. I love to sit on my deck in the evening and watch the fireflies in the backyard flit among the trees like fairies taken to wing. The male gold finches are so bright and beautiful they take my breath away. I remember the hummingbird at my feeder. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. A starry night is another wonder, a night so bright you can read by the light from the heavens. The summer meteor showers in August are so amazing I say things like, “Wow,” out loud but never figure anyone hears me as all the other houses are usually dark. Thunder and lightning and a heavy rain are favorites of mine. I watch from the window and see the sides of the street flooded and filled with swirling rain. Sometimes the rain is light enough that I can sit outside under the umbrella and not get wet. The rain hits the umbrella and that is among the best of sounds.

Getting older doesn’t ever mean losing our sense of wonder. The beauties of the world are still here. We just have to remember to look.

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

December 8, 2012

Today is a rainy day but it’s a warm rainy day. I figure I’ll start decorating the house with Christmas. It was going to be tree day but now that’s postponed due to rain. The TV is on, unusual during the day, but Saturday is my science fiction channel movie day. The theme for today is ice and snow disasters. Right now it’s the possibility of a new ice age. All of the polar storms and snowmaggedons are leading to tonight’s wonderful new holiday movie called The 12 Disasters of Christmas, an earlier prediction than the Mayas about the end of the world. I can hardly wait for the festivities.

I know science fiction and fantasy films don’t entertain some people. I figure they, somewhere along the line, outgrew imagination and wonder. They just can’t suspend adulthood long enough to believe. Dragons aren’t real and neither are hobbits or heroes with super powers, but for some of us they are if only for a while, for the length of a book. No one will convince me that Toad doesn’t live in grand Toad Hall or that Bilbo never went on his adventure. I was with both of them. When I was really little, I was with Henny Penny when she thought the sky was falling.

I hope I never outgrow my imagination. I hope the world stays filled with wonder. The starry night sky, a clap of thunder, jagged lightning, fireflies blinking in the yard, falling snow and the sound of the wind still stop me in my tracks. I have to watch or listen, and I always smile. I just can’t help it. Each one is a gift, like some present, some treasure, opened for the first time. The other night it was the moon so bright against the dark sky. Last night it was the sound of the rain on the roof. I even like seeing my breath on a cold morning.

“Surely as cometh the Winter, I know There are Spring violets under the snow.”

February 11, 2012

Last night I went to bed around one in the morning. It was raining enough that Gracie went under the deck to go to the bathroom. That’s her new strategy, and I applaud her ingenuity. When I woke up at 10 this morning, it was snowing and it still is. The snow is big and wet. The tree branches are covered, but the busy roads are not. I had to go to the dump, and I needed a few groceries so Gracie and I braved the elements. More people were out than I expected, but the dump was pretty quiet. The best part of the trash run was I didn’t have to leave my car. The high school basketball team is doing service at the dump and emptying trunks. They’re also throwing snowballs at each other from one side of the bins to the other. They are still at the enjoying snow stage of life.

When I got to my street, it had a layer of slush. Luckily, the temperature is above freezing now, and I hope it stays that way so the slush never turns to ice.

Today is a hot chocolate day, a mint hot chocolate day. It’s warm slippers, flannel pants and a sweatshirt day. It’s watch really bad science fiction on the TV from the couch with Gracie at my feet day. I know I’ll keep checking the snow accumulation as I’ve been doing that since I was a little kid. I press my face against the window and watch the flakes. Today it is a gentle snow which falls quietly, unaccompanied by wind. The snow is lovely today.