When I was younger, one of my favorite soothing activities was to go off in nature by myself. Sometimes that involved staring up at the clouds through the trees, feeling the grass prickle my back as I recoiled. Other times, like in college, it meant going off to sit and stare at the ocean, with no one else around. Today, I needed a moment to reset. On my 4 mile walk/jog I paused to listen to the birds, crunch a piece of grass between my fingers, feel the wind on my face.
Pausing in nature brings me closer to wonder.
I couldn’t get too close, but this little strip of trees by the baseball fields did the job. 🙂
The washing machine hums. My wet hair coils in an orange towel atop my head. Red flannel pajamas wrap around my legs. Today has been a Tuesday. A regular Tuesday. School, work, teaching, meetings, stopping by Sprouts and picking up tortilla chips and cheese and pinto beans to make nachos, making nachos and rice and guacamole at home, stopping at the corner gas station to buy cold Chardonnay I never get to, baby gets a bath, baby goes to bed, Nick and I collapse on couch, washing machine still on, still loud.
An average day.
But today I received a text message from a family friend who also happens to be my brother, Gavin’s, nurse. Nurse P. She had to undergo a surgery and was afraid of what might happen during the surgery.
But today, she sent a group message to my sisters and I, and it warmed me, made me believe in the gift of wonder in ordinary days. She writes:”Courtney, I have found wonder from days before the surgery all of a sudden I felt peaceful, I was no longer in constant fear of the unknown, in every person who has taken care of me, in all the visitors I had…I’m so full of happiness and I feel incredibly blessed. Once again thank you for cheering me on. Xoxo.”
The surgery went exceptionally well, better than doctors may have predicted. That’s wonder — a gift, a sense of peace, the arms of love.