Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Thoughts...

Wisdom begins in wonder.

I have always loved this quote and this idea.  I think the truest expression of living a good life is to retain a sense of wonder at the world; the mysteries of humans; and the majesty of nature.

To wonder at the leaf that manages to curl itself into the letter 'C"; wondering at how the smoke stains the sunset a vivid red;  in awe and wonder as you regard an echidna roaming the block looking for its next meal.

Retaining that sense of wonder in the world keeps you fresh and open to new ideas; keeps you grounded in the realisation that you are not the centre of the universe (disappointing I know) and that there is always something out there that you are yet to discover, are yet to be amazed by.

Socrates was a pretty wise character and I think its pretty special that he put so much store in wonder. Without wonder we tend not to be invigorated by the idea of exploration; without wonder we can feel either pretty self-satisifed or pretty unhappy. Sometimes I need a nudge to be open to wonder; when I am feeling flat or overwhelmed; but when I am mindful of it - it opens up so much and keeps me light.

Now as a segue to the photograph, my brothers and I are are getting organised for our parents' 50th wedding anniversary, and are therefore trawling thru many photographs - some more embarrassing than others.

This is one of my favourites, taken way back when my niece was a dot (she is now 19).  In my mind, the title of the photo has always been "the world is full of wonder".  She and my brothers are looking into a rockpool and I imagine the boys are pointing out the mysteries within. They have all stopped and are gazing, with wonder, (and a wee bit of trepidation perhaps) at whatever lies within. I love it.


  1. What a lovely post! A sense of wonder is something we should all hope to carry with us. Children are filled with it. Watching my daughters discover something new, the joy and amazement that fills their faces...that's wonder at it's best. Thank you for reminding me. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Fiona,
    What a terrific photo and a really lovely story to go along with it. You are right about being open to new things... without a sense of curiosity and wonder, imagine how boring life would be! Great post, thank you for sharing that darling photo with us!

  3. Pity we ever need to be reminded to remain open to wonder, but that is how it is....and now, a thank you, Fiona for this post....a lovely and gentle reminder!

  4. Apart from the cerebral benefits... wonder keeps us young. Lovely photo... says it all.

  5. Rockpools have always been a source of wonder to me. Your photo says it all .... the world is full of wonder.

  6. Hi Jennifer - it's a lovely thing to have wonder accompany us along the way..and too too sad if we lost it! Children remind us of how the world can be viewed...stay young and happy.

    Hi Kathy - thanks for leaving a message. A life without wonder would be dull indeed, and a tad dreary. It's a gorgeous photo - and has always been dear to me.

    Ah Patti - every now and again I think we all find ourselves a little bit away from wonder - so it's nice when it returns to our lives. Go well!

    So true Jo - I'd be a whole lot older if I didn't keep on wondering - so much to learn and understand and appreciate and enjoy!

    Hi Robyn - I agree - whole worlds contained within a rockpool - and yes the world IS full of wonder. Go well.

  7. Beautiful thoughtful post Fiona. There is nothing like olde photographs to bring you back home to yourself. We were children once, yes - but I think we always remain children, in some way or another...
    Now show us those embarrassing photos! ;D

  8. Hi Louise - I did well not to include one of me I thought! And this one is lovely. I agree - remaining child-like and open to wonder is part of having a fun adulthood.

  9. Retaining a sense of childlike wonder is so important, for artist and nonartist alike. Why is it that we think on the contrary that wisdom is at odds with wonder and ought to defeat it and replace it with something a lot more reasonable, practical, serious and secure? To be a mature adult and still gaze into a rockpool in awe is not a sign of a weak or frivolous mind, but an open one. Methinks the willingness to remain open is a greater sign of strength, in fact. Thanks for this post!

  10. Hi G/TT - I totally agree - why do we think wisdom/learning/knowing stuff is more important than wonder? Without wonder the rest of it means so little. Stay open to wonder I say!


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.