I met this woman once, a friend of a friend, who lived in the garden behind an estate in a small, not quite waterproof trailer. She had a few friends that she rarely visited and didn’t show much interest in adding me to her list. Odd. Reclusive. And happy with her life.
I had to know how that could possibly be. So I asked her what it was like, to live there by herself in that trailer. She got quiet and gathered herself. Then she looked up, sort of past me, extended her arms a bit and said, “For some people, just being there in the garden is more than they could ever need.”
Wonderment, that’s what she had. I remember having wonderment. I was ten or eleven and had new rain boots and a new raincoat with a hood. If I think about it, I can still smell its newness. That very week it poured. Came down so hard it bounced off the pavement. I put on my boots and raincoat and ran outside into it. I stomped and splashed and laughed until the cold finally got to me.
When you’re ten or eleven, no one would call you a fool for standing in the rain having wonderment. Harder to pull off at an age when you should know better.
Not to say only children should have wonderment—we do not stop needing, or knowing, wonderment. We are more likely to put it on the back burner, or expect that it will take more effort than its worth.
Pish! That’s just marketing departments doing their job working at selling us big marvelous things and places and experiences. We’ve got wonderment in us.
We just need to let it out.