When I was young, I lived without the slightest doubt that I could tiptoe past trepidation and sit content before the tiniest crack of light at the entry way to the wider world. There were no questions about whether or not the light was real… the kind that come on that fateful night when, after laying on your back, staring at the stars for hours, someone idly mentions that the particular star you’ve been enchanted by probably burned out or imploded years ago, but it is so far away that the light is still traveling to us.
When I was young, wonder was plentiful, and for the taking. And it was remarkably expansive, pliable and adaptable to work with. It helped the world shine. Anyone could see that, without it, a disappointing film covered everything and hid the luster that life had right out of the box.
But even more important, wonder helped me shine.
We become resigned when we allow all the parts and pieces within us to be properly categorized and labeled and put in their proper place on the shelf. Hardly remembering that when they are held under the blue light of wonder, we see there is so much more written on that tag.
And yet we have lost that urge. Rarely, nowadays, do we find ourselves tiptoeing past trepidation. Risking the surprise of the sensible people in our midst, to stare past the reasonable. And yet that is where the Holy lives.
It is hard for wonder, who is on the other side of the entrance, to count the number of times we come to visit. And every year it is less. But it is harder still to sit next to the holy and listen into the realm of the ordinary and hear all those categorically labeled voices tell stories to the young people laying on their backs of the stars that are no longer there.