Look for Wonder

WhiteAlways be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” -E.B. White

When I was a kid, magic and wonder were everyday things. In the summer, I was a wild child who never wore shoes or combed her hair. The soles of my feet were permanently splotched with purple mulberry stains, and my brother and I built elaborate forts out of sticks and vines. I ate peaches, raspberries, and tomatoes that tasted like sunshine from my grandma’s garden; and in the evening we caught fireflies in the front yard.

I remember speeding down gravel roads at night, on the back of my uncle’s four wheeler . . . exhilarated, but half convinced I might fly off and be left in the dark. I remember walking in my grandma’s corn fields and wondering how many rows I could push through before I was truly lost. I remember playing Ghost in the Graveyard with my aunt, and the pure terror of being chased through a pitch black yard. I remember curling up on the couch and reading book after book.

This summer, there’s a lot less wonder present. Instead of reading all day, I’m sitting in an office. Instead of eating raspberries and catching fireflies, I’m enduring road construction and answering emails. Even though my job is pretty great, I’d rather be playing in the creek.

People say you can never recapture the magic of childhood, and sometimes I think they’re right. I’m teetering on the edge of adulthood, and I occasionally feel like Peter or Susan on their last day in Narnia. But most of the time, I think that’s a lie . . . or at least a great exaggeration. Magic doesn’t go away, we just have less time for it.

We’ve had a lot of rain lately, which can make me grumpy. Getting caught in a downpour with no umbrella doesn’t sound like fun. Actually though, kicking off my flip-flops and running pell-mell down the sidewalks and through the parking lots was the highlight of my work day. Turns out, splashing through puddles is still wonder-filled.

But I don’t know . . . maybe I’m still a child.