I have a great many favorite books. A Touch of Wonder by Arthur Gordon is one of them. So many of the stories in his book granted me a flash of insight, leaving me a different person. I took his piece about 'not wearing a raincoat in the shower' and wrote my own take on it for my ailing daddy. I'll need to find that......
The idea of wearing a raincoat in a shower made me laugh. But, it is incredible how many of us do it. What does one wear in a shower? Not a thing. Why? Because we want to feel the soap and the water on every part of us. Why does one wear a raincoat? In order to keep the elements from getting us wet. In life, most of us wear raincoats in the shower. We go through our days and don't want to feel anything around us. There is a photo making the rounds on the net. It is of a man glued to his cell phone while a humpback whale is breaching a few feet away. I am hoping he was in an important text with a relation, but the whole idea startled me. To be that close to a giant of the deep and not see it. This is a modern example of wearing your raincoat in the shower. One of the comments I read as I followed this photo and story was that perhaps he was used to seeing whales and it wasn't that cool anymore. I hope that isn't true. To be bored by the living world is heartbreaking.
I remember when Bear was tiny (about 7) he used to ride an itty bitty motorbike. One day he wanted to go out and ride. It was a nice day, so I said it was ok. I could hear his bike and often let him ride unsupervised. After a bit, I realised I did NOT hear his bike and I panicked. I ran outside and didn't see anything. I heard, however, a faint 'Mom...Mom....Mom...."
Frantic, I ran toward the sound and saw my baby pinned under his blue bike in the driveway. I was crying about how sorry I was that I had ignored him and not noticed him. My tears felt like acid on my cheeks as I lifted the bike off my little boy. One hand was crumpled into a fist and he wouldn't use it to help himself up.
I reached out to see if he was injured and he looked up at me and grinned. "It's ok, mom, just look at at these cool things I found while I was lying on the ground!" His opened starfish hand held a cornucopia of sparkly rocks, twisted twigs, and assorted bits of garage debris.
Bear found the wonder and wanted to share it. I'll never forget that moment..a flash of insight into a world beyond what a mom sees. I've always remembered this incident as the boys grew and tried to keep the wonder alive. I can't stand spiders, yet allow the boys to capture them in containers to observe, but only in the laundry room. They have learned to not be afraid of the odd and to look beyond their noses when seeing the world. I like that.
Wonder is a candle lighting up our dim world with life and light.