What Happens When We Wonder?

Katie Steedly

listen_btn

Awakin FeatureWhen I think about wonder I think about waterfalls, newborn babies, and whales. I think about seeds, snowflakes, and rainbows. I think about lightening, skyscrapers, and silk. Wonder defies description. Wonder often leaves me speechless. Wonder does not happen every day.

What happens when we experience wonder?

People get along. When people are struck with wonder, they generally are not yelling, arguing, fighting, or angry. Wonder brings people together. We all agree that flowers are wonderful. We all agree that ducklings are wonderful. We all agree that coral reefs are wonderful. Butterflies? Wonderful. Chocolate? Wonderful. Sunsets? Wonderful. Wonder provides a moment where we can hold hands, (perhaps) tear up, and find common ground.

The noise of life fades. A silence akin to speechlessness falls when we experience wonder. A gentle hush that is beyond words eases tension. Reflection paints wonderful moments with reverence. Wonder is calm in the chaos of the world. I learned this on the road to Hana in Maui, when I had to be reminded that my iPhone was not as important as the majesty of a volcano. I had to let the noise go and be present to the wonder of the moment.

The best parts of ourselves guide our thoughts and actions. Gratitude, compassion, and understanding happen during wonderful moments. Our interconnectedness, our stories, our dreams, our histories connect us when we allow ourselves to feel wonder: to really see, to really touch, to really taste, and to really hear. Creating and being present to moments of wonder in our lives builds our best selves. We have less time to be less than our potential when we experience wonder. Our sights are set higher.

We are connected to the natural world. Nature is wonder. Glaciers. Fjords. Mangroves. Mountains. Coral Reefs. Oceans. All animals. All plants. All stars and planets and galaxies. There is wonder when we see beauty in all of that, and feel related and interdependent and grateful. Appreciating and respecting the wonder of the natural world creates an environment of protection and stewardship in which future generations will also know wonder in nature.

Miracles can happen. Wonder makes me believe in miracles. Every day is a miracle. The sun rising. My heart beating. My breath flowing in and out of my lungs. The fact that all that happens with perfection is miraculous. Let me take it a step further. Our capacity to experience awe, for our jaws to drop and for time to stand still, is a miracle. Feeling wonder, and the joy and happiness of it, is a miracle. May we know more, and more, and more wonder.

Katie Steedly is a seeker, thinker, and writer. She has trekked the Abel Tasman, bathed in the healing waters of Tirta Empul, and run a marathon in search of the why. As a woman living with Turner syndrome, she believes every day is a miracle. 

Seed questions for reflection: What does wonder mean to you? Can you share a personal story of a time when you experienced wonder? What helps you stay in wonder in your life?

Add Your Reflection:

9 Previous Reflections:

  • link
    On Apr 22, 2018 Kevinogi jhome wrote:

     Wonder is being open to the beauty all around us, in us and in each other. 


    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Apr 1, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

     Wonder is being open to the beauty all around us, in us and in each other. I experience wonder nearly every day because I choose to live in gratitude and in openness to the wonderful in the seemingly small things. I was in Albania last week to facilitate Communications training for staff from 25 country offices for the World Bank. I sat in wonder of: 1. the fact I was even invited to present 2. all the cultures I was able to encounter in such a short time and with such deep enjoyment of the food, music, languages and conversations to learn. 3. the beauty of a sunset over the Adriatic Sea while being treated to a delicious Albanian red wine and mussels and octopus. 4. the joy of new friendships forming. 5. the fact that airplanes can take us across the world in a matter of hours.... the list goes on. What helps me to stay in wonder is gratitude and the realization that the seemingly small things often become my fondest memories of a person or place. <3 


    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 27, 2018 james weaber wrote:

     didnt want a poem book..get to the basics,,


    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 27, 2018 Brother Michael wrote:

     A Sense of Wonder connects as you so well shared to all beings and the infinite.  There is a phrase in Lakota language, "A Ho Mitakuye O'Yasin".  This literally means all my relations.  As they believe, no they know we are all related and it is deepening that relationship with all life that we become connected.  So yes, wonder, wonder, wonder!  Peace, Light and Love Brother Michael


    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 27, 2018 Sunil,Bangalore wrote:

    Wonder is Divine.All marvels,miracles and mysteries of the Nature/Universe  are great Creations to understand the Divine in all its ramifications.Listen to the Kabir song by Shubha Mudgal "Is Ghat Anter Baugh Bagiche"This  is a wonderful personal experience.(Unable to paste the song Utube link ?) . Go within connecting with your InnerNet to find the vast potential wonders inside.   


    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 27, 2018 Amal Mohanty wrote:
     "Appreciating and respecting the wonder of the natural world creates an environment of protection and stewardship......"  are the words of the passage that inspired me to jot down my story.It relates to my present time aah moment.I am residing in solitude in a bush at Ahmedabad.The shelter has all facilities for a comfortable living but no human friends or family.Staying here for about a month now I discovered the wonder, the miracle in my life true to each words the author stated.There is silence but there is the sound of music the nature plays.There is the rising sun over the rain forest and also there are my not very familiar buddies,the peacocks and the anthropoids roaming around with their team and greeting me to their land, the Ashram of Awaking.When I wake up with the call of our national bird in the early hours of dawn I discover the glittering rays of the sun peeping through the branches of trees in front.I kneel down with my folded hands and close my eyes to open ... [View Full Comment]

     "Appreciating and respecting the wonder of the natural world creates an environment of protection and stewardship......"  are the words of the passage that inspired me to jot down my story.It relates to my present time aah moment.I am residing in solitude in a bush at Ahmedabad.The shelter has all facilities for a comfortable living but no human friends or family.Staying here for about a month now I discovered the wonder, the miracle in my life true to each words the author stated.There is silence but there is the sound of music the nature plays.There is the rising sun over the rain forest and also there are my not very familiar buddies,the peacocks and the anthropoids roaming around with their team and greeting me to their land, the Ashram of Awaking.When I wake up with the call of our national bird in the early hours of dawn I discover the glittering rays of the sun peeping through the branches of trees in front.I kneel down with my folded hands and close my eyes to open the mind that discovers the wonder of the universe.The miracle is here.As the author rightly said compassion,gratitude and understanding emerges from within.The I in Me gets rediscovered and a feeling of enlightenment creeps in.The sense of loneliness fades away. There is no worries but miraculous wonders only prevail. Wishing all my friends of Awaking all the best.Regards.

    [Hide Full Comment]

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 25, 2018 david doane wrote:

     For me, wonder is a sense of awe -- feeling washed over by and caught up in a wave of awe.  It's a peak experience.  It's a feeling of overwhelmed in a positive way by something much bigger than me.  Wonder is a positive and profound experience during which I feel very alive, aware, excited and peaceful all at once.  I felt wonder when I learned that my body is made up of a hundred trillion cells all working together while I am simultaneously a cell in a much larger body called the cosmos.  I felt wonder one night outside Zion National Park looking out at a huge and beautiful star filled sky.  I felt wonder in being present at birth.  What helps me stay in wonder is being in the here and now, seeing and appreciating what is rather than being preoccupied, and being aware that all that is, living and not living, is an awesome miracle that I am part of.


    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 24, 2018 xiaoshan wrote:

     What a beautifully written piece, straight flowing out of an insightful heart. With the awareness and experience of wonder, 'self', the source of all our troubles, sufferings, separations, and illusions, fades into the background. In that moment, we are, I am, truly having a taste of what is meant to exist as a pure conciousness. 


    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Mar 23, 2018 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    Reading this wonderful article with my full presence created a sense of wonder in me. I felt connected with this beautiful writing and felt the sense of wonder in me.Though my mind was active reading the article, I felt a deep sense of stillness, connectedness and joyful aliveness in me. I didn't make it happen. I let it happen. I agree with Katie Steedly when she says, "Everyday is a miracle"  if I let it happen.Wonder happens when we let it happen. We sense it when we are fully present and allow our being to be connected with it. Everyday is a miraculous day in my life. When I wake up, my eyes are drawn towards the majestic presence of the orchard tree and the beautiful flowers swinging lightly by the gentle touch of the wind and the soft light of the rising sun.A feeling of wonderment, joyfulness and gratefulness arises in my heart.What a precious gift I get from nature! I sense such feeing of wonder in the eyes of Duke, our dog, when we  get connected with each other jus... [View Full Comment]

    Reading this wonderful article with my full presence created a sense of wonder in me. I felt connected with this beautiful writing and felt the sense of wonder in me.Though my mind was active reading the article, I felt a deep sense of stillness, connectedness and joyful aliveness in me. I didn't make it happen. I let it happen. I agree with Katie Steedly when she says, "Everyday is a miracle"  if I let it happen.Wonder happens when we let it happen. We sense it when we are fully present and allow our being to be connected with it.

    Everyday is a miraculous day in my life. When I wake up, my eyes are drawn towards the majestic presence of the orchard tree and the beautiful flowers swinging lightly by the gentle touch of the wind and the soft light of the rising sun.A feeling of wonderment, joyfulness and gratefulness arises in my heart.What a precious gift I get from nature! I sense such feeing of wonder in the eyes of Duke, our dog, when we  get connected with each other just by looking at each other! And it happens when I eat lunch in the outdoor lunch garden with little kids. A child sitting by me looks at my white hair and wrinkles on my hand with innocent curiosity. And I look at her with a delightful twinkle in my eyes. We get deeply connected with each other without words.

    Our life is mostly the "do do" life, a check list life. We do not allow ourselves to check in with ourselves and the "happening" world in front of us and around us. We spend a great deal of time in making it happen rather than letting it happen and we miss the world of happening. We need to learn how to be still and be fully present to be connected with the wonders of nature and human beings-a shift from the world of doing to the world of being.

    I join my hands with Katie as she says, " May we know more, and more, and more wonder."

    Namaste!
    Jagdish P Dave



    [Hide Full Comment]

    Post Your Reply

Search Awakin Readings

Or search by year or author.

Subscribe to Weekly Email

Every week, we send out a digest with a reading and inspiring stories to our global community of 92,006 people. Subscribe below.

(unsubscribe)

Contact Us

If you'd like to suggest a thought or want to drop us a suggestion, drop us a note.