Wonder

I picked up Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy at the library. It’s great and full of good ideas–even if you don’t have kids to garden with. The major purpose of gardening with children is to cultivate wonder. Do we need kids to cultivate wonder? It certainly helps, but wonder is available at any age.

Lovejoy offers this quote by Rachel Carson: “If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life… If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

I think the miracle is not a child with wonder, but an adult who can share that wonder with the child. I sometimes feel so old and the world seems framed in to do lists and tasks. What is wonder-inspiring to children is often an annoyance or inconvenience to me. Dandelions. Endless joy and wonder. From the carpets of bright yellow that become a constant source of love-bouquets to mama to the puffy seed heads that draw out wishes with closed eyes and a blow. It’s not often that I have to think about my wish in the moment. Seeing those little yellow flowers not as a home owner failure needing intervention, but as a source of joy is wonder. The girls were “helping” me water plants and it turned into a water fight. Both girls were soaked and squealing with delight. Water is a non-stop source of wonder. They can’t wait to get into their swim suits. I may never re-capture wonder in that area…I’m just sayn’.

I need to be more open to wonder so I can then help the kids put a label to how they live every day. Then I can turn into the grown up that gives the children an Indestructible Sense of Wonder. So we’ve been planting seeds outside and noticing things and talking about them and holding hands and dancing.

This is a tough one. I’m up and down on this. Monday was a hard day where I pretty much didn’t want to do anything near kid-related. Today was a good day for a lot of reasons. One of the reasons was that I played duck-duck-goose with Emily and about 6 toys. At one point, the toys were winning. At every point I was having fun.

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