It is only wonder.
Oh, really? Tell it to the girl who can’t stop looking at this yellow butterfly fluttering by to one flower at a time. Or to the boy who’d give his next bar of chocolate to know where that stroke of lightning vanished to. Tell it to me, who firmly believes only simply cannot be used as a modifier for this emotion.
Have you ever experienced the wonder of waking up in the arms of the one you love? Or the depth of joy at being told the sun is finally shining after weeks of seemingly endless rain? Or have you got wet under that refreshing, pervasive rain after just having said you’d personally go and bomb down the sun god if he didn’t move away? No, wonderment is not an emotion that can go very well with only.
Consider this, though — what if you were to realise that to fully comprehend wonder, you need to acknowledge that wonder is not wonder, but only a means of entertainment or relaxation, unless it makes you reach a newer plane, a newer sense of understanding? How would your experience of that feeling change? What new insight would you sense in the arms of the loved one, under the sun, or between the raindrops? What newer plane will a now-cool, now-warm drop of rain on your forearm take you to? Will this bit of rain on your toenail open up a new dimension of understanding? Or the one on your nose, and the one on your head? And oh look! now they’re everywhere! What newer plane have you reached? Did you travel from point A to point B during those few minutes the sun god panicked at your nuclear threat, and allowed water to quench your thirst?
It adds more charm to the entire process of opening your senses and acknowledging all that they experience, wouldn’t you say? All of a sudden, this feeling isn’t simply a feeling of marvelling at the depth of it all. The curiosity makes room for an important activity — that of understanding the value of this depth, and, in some cases, its mechanics and processes. Some people are able to make use of this understanding to build bridges, dam rivers, design Tetra Pak and invent post-its. Sometimes, all some people can do it just grin with this knowledge, and then grin more. And learn to know and understand; the learning deepening with each experience.
I am not a scientist discovering path-breaking facts or inventing equally terrific concepts to revolutionise, and bring further wonderment. I am a wonderer, I allow these little wonders to fill me up until every cell within me can say that it has experienced the knowledge of understanding that all is all right, even though it may not seem so — that there is wonderment in everything. In a tortoise struggling to climb up and drag its weary feet over and beyond a stone (which, by the way, is just a stone for you, but a mountain for it). Or in that clever aluminium-and-cork bottle stopper that keeps even wine as good as old. Or, agree or not, in that beggar’s shiny white teeth.
I travel from point A to point B, each time reaching a newer plane of belief that as long as there are eyes to see and mind to fathom, wonders never cease.
Some scientists believe that the ability to wonder, to be curious about, interested in something or someone — to feel the joy of admiration — is what separates humans from animals. Wonder separates science from religion, some believe. Religion sprouts from awe, while science from wonderment. These aren’t my original thoughts. I read about them on Wikipedia. I urge you to visit it here. It is wonderful how this marvellous emotion defines our innermost being. When I first thought of writing about it yesterday, I thought of the wonder of the beautiful, now experienced, now forgotten things like rain after a hot day, sunshine after a dull one — of the feeling of wonder towards the miraculous, the pleasing. But today, I know that it impresses me as probably the most influential of all the emotions, for it encourages thoughtful action, pulls towards improvement.
- The ‘spaceman’ is from a blog called jaggedsmile at WordPress (http://jaggedsmile.wordpress.com). The artist there makes brilliant sketches.
Note: If you came here to look for a post called 2020 yesterday or the day before, let me tell you, it wasn’t me that bungled it up. It was Flag Counter, the swanky new thing on my blog that tells me just how many of you are secretly clicking to my blog and from just how many places. Cool, eh? Let’s all forgive Flag Counter for not making Apps for Dummies, then.