Recovering a Sense of Wonder

As a young boy I had a great sense of imagination. When playing street soccer, I’d suddenly become “Roy of the Rovers”. When we played war games or family games or whatever game we’d invent to entertain ourselves my friends and I could channel a whole cast of characters (I’d be slightly embarrassed to describe some of the games – some of them involved elaborate costumes and play acting). As a young boy it was easy to have a sense of wonder, imagination and play.

Upon reflection on my boyhood, it seems that all of the boys in my neighborhood suddenly had to “grow up” – I think this happened when we went to high/secondary school. At some point, I needed to carry a large school bag with lots of books that were quite sterile – no pictures, no drawing, no play. I recall that it became no longer cool to wonder at the world and my boyhood games became, well, “childish”. You could call it the slow death of wonder and imagination. It would appear, I wasn’t alone in this process of replacing wonder/imagination/play with a focus on rationalism.

Some boys didn’t allow school – with it’s focus on rationalism and science (all good of course) to diminish their sense of wonder and imagination. They are the creatives, the poets, the musicians. It is to them I am now turning, in an effort to reclaim and recover a sense of wonder at the world. Now that I “know” that everything created is scared, poets and musicians help me really see the mystery and sacred in all things.

What about you? What are you doing to maintain/recover a sense of wonder? What practices are you in to see everything in the world as sacred?

All of this leads me to a poem from Hafiz.

“Today”:

I

Do not

Want to step so quickly

Over a beautiful line on God’s palm

As I move through the earth’s

Marketplace

Today.

 

I do not want to touch any object in this world

Without my eyes testifying to the truth

That everything is

My Beloved.

 

Something has happened

To my understanding of existence

That now makes my heart always full of wonder

And kindness.

 

I do not

Want to step so quickly

Over this sacred place on God’s body

That is right beneath your

Own foot

 

As I

Dance with

Precious life

Today.

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