I vividly recall my first morning after moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico. I walked out the door of my hotel and was instantly smitten by the first strands of morning sunlight radiating from beyond the Sandia Mountains. Later that day I described the experience to an amused local, who replied, “No big deal. After a few months it will just be part of the background.”
That morning did come. It was the first winter’s morning when those same mountains glistened with new snow beneath brilliant blue skies. I saw the mountains again that day, but I realized I had stopped seeing them until that snow fell and brought me new vision.
As I contemplated this new awareness, I realized that the amount of wonder in the world never really changes. On any given day, there is unfathomable beauty, and horror, and humor, and drama. Yet with each successive exposure we become increasingly immune to wonder, and likewise unable to feel awe, or humility, or gratitude.
So all these states, and the ability to experience them, is not in the world but within us. It comes through our seeing. When we do not have such experiences, it is because our vision is impaired, or somehow obscured.
Naturally one asks what is to be done. Are we doomed to forever lose our ability to truly see?
Hardly. With awareness of this all too human dilemma, we can practice seeing anew. We can stop, and remember that we have forgotten. And we can identify causes, the blocks to our vision. Strangely, that awareness allows the blocks to lessen. With time our vision will be more and more clear, more and more of the time.
Suffice it to say that wonder is not in the world, but in how we see, and thus the perspective we bring.
Ronald Chapman is owner of an international speaking and consulting company, Magnetic North LLC. In addition to international accreditation as a speaker and national awards for radio commentary, he is the author of two novels, My Name Is Wonder (Terra Nova Publishing, 2016) and A Killer’s Grace (Terra Nova Publishing, 2016 and 2012). Ron provides a wide array of social media content at www.SeeingTrue.com, content for people in substance abuse recovery at www.ProgressiveRecovery.org, and other content from his master site, www.RonaldChapman.com. He holds a Masters in Social Welfare from The University at Albany (New York.) Prior to his relocation to Atlanta, Georgia in 2008, he was a long-time resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico.