Life in all its wonder

I am re-reading an amazing book this week. It is a book by Kate Gross as she approached the last months of her life while only in her late thirties, the mother of two young boys (Late Fragments: Everything I want to tell you about this magnificent life).

I am re-reading the book now as part of remembering a friend who died recently, in her late fifties. She read the book and appreciated it in the last months of her life.

If you are still reading, well done. Many find the subject of dying too painful to dwell on. And yet it’s a book about the wonder that is life. Yes, wonder.

Kate is mindful. She writes of her hopes for her boys, “I don’t know how they will experience the world, any more than I can guide them through it. I hope that its breadth and variety will provide them with the endless thrill it has for me. But staying at home is fine too. I need them to know that wonder doesn’t require a passport, it only requires your attention. My dad has always been evidence of that. . . . his truest sense of wonder has always been found in a smaller world around him. He sees things, you see, in the details: the curve of a while tulip petal, the way a tree branch stretches over a lake, the perfect structure of the green hills . . . “

Kate describes the joy of living so well, looking and taking in the wonder of life. May be it’s all the more acutely in our sight when we can see the end of our earthly life more clearly before us. But let’s not let a day pass without looking – and truly seeing – something of the beauty that is around us.

For me, being mindful – looking – draws me to the Creator of all things. And the wonder that fills me is part of understanding the present and also a hint of the future, the promise of a life beyond this earthly life which will be wonderous beyond imagining.

Wonder doesn’t require a passport (or any other complications of travel in a Covid world!). It doesn’t need us to be approaching death. Simply look. Wonder. Live.

This is Mindful Monday on 20 September 2021.

Look and wonder

Look and wonder

This is a beautiful Spring photo – the flowers and the budding leaves are stunning. And my thanks to the photographer, Yendis, who took the time to notice and to share.

Recently I spent five minutes looking at what seemed to be a twig. As I looked I was amazed what I saw. There were tiny buds of leaves. They looked like just a bump on the twig but when I looked they were bright green and so beautifully formed: still compact but you could see the leaves that would emerge. And the leaves were arranged on the twig in a surprising geometric pattern: buds of leaves next to one another on either side of the ‘twig’ but then alternating at 90 degrees up the stem. Perhaps this is so they can maximise the light getting to the leaves?

The flowers are obviously stunning. The twig looked like nothing but it was actually also stunning.

I found the five minutes I spent incredibly relaxing. Being able just to look – and to wonder.

Try it out. Choose a detail in nature to study – just five minutes of your day – but you will be stunned.

This is Mindful Monday on 19 March 2018. We meet for an evening of mindfulness in Cheltenham on 16 April 2018 – join us if you can.