For six decades, I’d have to admit that I took life for granted. Not the blessings in my life—those I’ve always been thankful for—but the “lifeness” of it all, that there is a universe, a galaxy, a planet. That bodies can walk on it. That some have a thousand legs, some four, some two, some none at all. That gravity keeps us from flying off the ground. Most days now, I am stopped in my tracks by the magic of it all.
I am not only speaking of the good, or of beauty. It is equally amazing to me that I can feel pain, that objects that belong in the trash can litter the ground. I am stunned that bodies arrive on the planet, and then leave unexpectedly. How can a tree come from a seed? So mysterious! It bewilders me—another form of astonishment—that one form can harm another, that one can eat another. That plants can eat animals, and animals can eat plants.
The graduate student at a library table nearby is laughing repeatedly. Laughter—noise spilling from a two-legged body that denotes delight. How surprising!
Last spring, deer ate all but three leaves from a weeping Japanese maple we planted three years ago. I found myself more amazed than any other emotion. The tree was bare. Will it survive? I am awed that it might be able to regenerate, and equally stunned that it could die and be reabsorbed by the soil.
Some days my wonder and astoundment are so profound that it seems that I must have just arrived from another dimension. And yet, having noticed this depth of awe, I would not change it, and I wonder how I managed for so long not to notice the miniscule miraculous that is everywhere, both outside and inside.
© Skye Blaine, 2011
8 thoughts on “joyous astonishment”
No wonder that children are such profound teachers! Which reminds me, I just ran across this from an ancient email (if there is such a thing). It was written by a 7-year old boy. “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening the presents and listen.”
I believe that when we achieve this mind-state, we see once again with the eyes of a child.
no “we”, no achieving, and no mind-state. But yes, seeing with the eyes of a child!
“no “we”, no achieving, and no mind-state.”
????? Please explain
I’ll try! And apologies for my reply. I responded too quickly.
Mind-state: Awareness–which is what we are–is natural and always present. It is not a “state.” State suggests that something comes and goes.
Achieving: there is no achieving something that is wholly natural and eternally present. Simply notice what has always been there.
We: Consciousness is non-dual, “not two.” We appear as rays of the prism of that consciousness. Like a rainbow! But really, all there is, is consciousness.
Hope that helps! And happy holidays.
“I’ll try! And apologies for my reply. I responded too quickly.”
This is the only part that makes any sense. I’m sorry that I subscribed to your blog. Happy holidays.
You can go to my blog page and click the “unfollow” link at the top, in the black band. That should remove you, so that you do not have to receive posts you do not want.