As I was sitting in church this morning listening to the rain that was turning into the first snow of this winter, and hearing the joyful noise of my daughter singing hymns, I was reminded of a wonderful gift that Dad taught my sister Abby and me. That is teaching us the sense of wonder.
Dad made simple pleasures our life’s treasures. These could be things like listening to a downpour, or seeing the first snow of the winter season. A rainbow after a downpour, or the butterflies gently gliding back and forth around the gazebo in our backyard.
They were magical moments shared by the three of us. Dad made them memorably magical by his observations, recollections, and his encouraging, nurturing attitude toward our observations and our questions.
Mother, on the other hand, was her usual unimpressed self.
Big deal. You act like you’ve never seen rain, or snow, or a rainbow ever before!
She loved to rain on our parade but Dad made sure not to allow it. He continued to teach us the amazing wonders that were within our grasp. He gave us a sense of the world around us, while Mother lived within a world of her own creation – The Glass Menagerie of denial, unreality, and a sad need to constantly revisit the past.
We were so blessed by the lessons learned from our dad. We did not need to seek wonder any further than our front porch or window. There is a whole world around us filled with mysteries, joys, and sometimes sorrows that later turn out to blessings in disguise.
While Mother was smoking and refusing to accept the beauty of nature (and often sipping steadily out of the aforementioned aluminum glass of mystery liquid), we were busy getting excited for our next adventure with Dad. Abby and I looked forward to our next lesson with our Dad and knew that having the sense of wonder was a gift that is priceless.