Recovering a Sense of Wonder

It's rare that I tout a book before I have read it, but I think you'll understand why as you keep reading. The other day, I was listening to a podcast and the speaker quoted an excerpt from Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder.

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in."

My interest was piqued and the academic in me sought to find the context from which this quote was plucked. Here is the quote in its entirety.

"A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength. If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in."

You can guess what book is waiting for me after I finish Book 5 in The Outlander series! As an educator, it is my responsibility to teach resilience, content and skills but not at the cost of snuffing my students' sense of wonder. On numerous occasions I have stopped a lesson to let my students observe snowflakes sifting through the air. Other times, a lesson has been interrupted by an aggressive rainstorm and I'll just pause to let my students give their attention to the sound of rain pounding our classroom windows.

I didn't realize this until now, but I think my passion for writing and photography has fueled my sense of wonder and preventing it from waning. To feel wonder is to be enchanted. If you have been feeling, to use Rachel Carson's words, "disenchanted," "bored," and "preoccup[ied] with things that are artificial," what could you do to rekindle your sense of wonder? Hint, think about what you loved to do when you were a child.