On the Facebook page last week, I shared the story of a special birthday present from my Dad – a story of wonder.
Then, a couple of days ago, AJ Leon (a cool Misfit who does amazing things and is slowly traveling the world) shared his own story of wonder. Here’s a spoiler-free sample for you:
I was thinking about the Kickstarter project we just completed and all of the thank you’s I need to send and all of the posters I need to design and all of the books I need to print and deliveries I need to coordinate. I was fretting about the two week delay of the first print edition of Misfit Quarterly, while appraising ideas for the design of the spring edition. I was worrying about the conference we’re producing in Fargo, and the balance between hosting something remarkable and not going bankrupt. I was reflecting on the self-publishing guide I’m working on and the WordPress Themes I’m designing and the art project I want to launch and the windmill in Kenya I want to raise money for and the web application we quietly launched a couple weeks ago.
And then Melissa turns to me and says, “stop the car right now.”
It’s a great story, you should definitely read it.
And it got me thinking about wonder and how it fits into the stories I tell and the stories that I want to help others to tell for themselves. It’s not a coincidence that my title in the Human Library was “Connected Wonder Woman”. I want to help people to see the wonder in our lives, the amazing (and awesome) things around us, and maybe start to realize that there are things out there that we can’t explain.
So watch for more of that here.
And here’s another of my personal stories of wonder:
Once, my cousin Jeff came to visit my parent’s house. Jeff, a globe-hopper who eventually wound up living near LA, was coming to my house, on a then-dirt road, in the middle of a cornfield, in Western NY. The teenage me was excited and a little mortified at the same time.
I so longed to be able to offer something cool TO DO that would wow him, but the nearest weeknight activities were a 45-minute drive away. We decided to do something closer to home. It was mid-August and the Perseids meteor shower was supposed to be in full swing. We shut the lights off in the house and went out onto the large, high deck my Dad had built. Everyone got into position in chairs, on the deck, and on the picnic table and its benches. The great expanse of the clear and starry country sky spread above us, unobscured except for the edge of our roof on the Southern side.
And we waited. I started dying a bit inside as Jeff and my brothers started cracking jokes about how “entertaining” the evening was proving.
And then a meteor whizzed by.
“Did you see that?’
“I don’t know, I blinked.”
“Let’s wait just a bit longer to see if there’s any more.”
The night was quiet and still. Only the crickets made any sound.
A short time later, another one flew by. And then even more. They were all over the sky.
We must have seen dozens that night. It was awesome. We talked about it for days. The next time we saw Jeff, he brought up the meteor shower and how much he enjoyed it. Even now, I love to lie under the stars. Not looking for meteors or other specific space sightings. Not searching for constellations (I can get Orion and the Dippers, but then lose track). Just absorbing the vastness, the beauty, and the wonder.