Monday, March 22, 2010


“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” ~ Walt Streightiff

One of my grown sons made the comment the other day that he missed his childhood. I get that. Life was so much simpler when we didn’t have to go to a job we hated in order to provide for our family, worry over our children, being frustrated with our government, fear terrorist, the list goes on and on.
What’s happened to us is that as adults, we have lost our wonder. For a lot of people, life is a swirl of pain, worry, frustration, monotony, with a few bright spots sprinkled here and there. But children view the things around them with curiosity.

I watched my grandson, Judah, last Saturday. He has just found his hands. His expression was pure wonder and curiosity as he examined them with large almond eyes and his mouth in a perfect O. He was so amazed with something I take for granted. Even now as I type with my hands, I do not give a thought about how they obey the electric circuit my brain sends them to press the keys to form these words.

Neal and I “download” every night before supper. We talk about our day, or about the thoughts that pass through our minds. Last night we discussed “light-years.” (He is a scientist) Did you know that light travels 186,000 (300,000 kilometers) per second? That is 5,865,696,000,000 miles (94,608,000,000,000 kilometers) per year! The light from our closest star, the sun, travels 24,902,909,498,880 miles (40077347984565.54) to warm our planet. It would take 70 years to cross the Milky Way! And in 1999 the Hubble Space Telescope estimated there were 125 billion galaxies across the universe!

Let your mind loose to dance across those numbers.

I watched a young boy walking home from school, backpack full of books. When he passed under a large oak tree he stopped and stared up into the canopy. He stood there for a long time before continuing on his way. Of course, I was curious over what he saw and I walked outside to check it out. I noticed something new. Even though all the leaves were actually the same shade of green, the light and shadows cast the illusion of spring greens, Kelly greens, olive greens, and dark forest greens.

Why am I writing this to you? We need to give our minds a break. We need to take some time to recapture the wonder of our childhood. Even if it is just a few minutes a day, it is good to go outside and observe nature through the eyes of a child and be amazed. Sure, we know how things work, but do we really? How does a bird’s DNA tell it how to build a nest? It isn’t like the daddy bird takes his son under his wing and chirps, “first you choose this kind of branch.”

This week, become a blank slate and enjoy nature. Even if only a few minutes during your lunch break. Walk outside and look about you.

I like to “people watch.”

People are the same in that the majority of us have two arms, two legs, ten fingers and ten toes. But every one of this earth’s 7 billion people has different fingerprints. Because of the complex structure of the capillaries in the retina, no one has the same retinal pattern; even identical twins do not share a similar pattern.

Life can be hard. Do yourself a favor and take some time this week to be a child. It is my hope that you make this a habit in your life; to play, be curious, and observe nature without conclusions, but rather with amazement. 

This week, recapture your wonder.

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