Day 38: Waking Happy

This morning I woke up feeling so naturally happy. My son was sleeping horizontal in the bed next to me. My husband had kissed me before his commute to work, like every morning. I had a long day ahead and was waking up late; I had to rush to get out on time. But I wasn’t stressed or overwhelmed. I didn’t have anything grand to look forward to, it was just a regular day but I felt overwhelmingly grateful and with joy in my heart. I think that’s wonder, in the body, and mostly, in the spirit.

Here is a photo of what I was up to today: running a thesis workshop for Masters students.

Day 37: Something About Mangoes

This is the title of an essay I workshopped in class tonight. It’s about mangoes and obsessions and grief. I find wonder in the mind’s ability to create ideas — for books, poems, essays. I was reminded of the wonder of that tonight. As well, I was reminded of the fact that most things need a revision.

It’s okay to find wonder in a revision. Whether that be a life or a creative piece. There is always room for improvement.

I think we get ideas from something other than us, and I like to give that credit to God. I enjoyed this post today from a pastor in San Diego:

Day 35: A First Day for Swim Lessons

My son sitting on the edge of the pool, dangling his feet beyond the gutter, splashing. That’s my wonder today. As a swimmer with a dad who is still a fantastic medal winning swimmer — I was nervous/proud/excited/full of anticipation.

On a funny note — he was thrilled right when he entered, then when he accidentally dunked himself, he was cold and less sure. But he made it through the whole class! And we enjoyed some special time after the class ended, just him and me in the pool. 💙

Day 29: Doves on a Double Date

On a walk, I thought I saw a single pair of doves cozying up on a tall fence. But when I checked my photo, there were four. ❤

I love doves as spiritual messengers. I used to wear a dove necklace of the bird holding an olive branch in its beak. Seeing four somehow felt wonderful, a sprinkle more than just the two.

Day 28: Reading Celebrity Poems Aloud

Today was one of those days…..right after I had a *surpluss* of wonder yesterday, today I was left with the question, “What on earth brought me wonder today?” Life is like that, hills, valleys, ups, downs. Today was nothing special as days go.

But last night was! And reflecting on THAT brings me wonder today. Last night I left my very cozy comfort zone and read OUT OF GENRE (Creative Writing lingo). Meaning, I specialize in Creative Nonfiction which is prose writing and last night I read mostly funny poems about celebrities. People laughed when they were supposed to laugh, and it warmed my goofy heart.

Then tonight as I asked the question aloud: what’s brought me wonder today?

I looked from the couch and saw two boys building Toy Story puzzles. There is delight in boys I love playing…and in celebrity poems.

Reading @TheStonewall

Day 27: The World is For You

I’ve been thinking a lot about how wonder is not quite what I hypothesized it as: deep and accessible. This experiment has complicated that definition and challenged it. I think of wonder as small surprises, natural delights, the changing of time, growth. But overall, today this phrase came to me: The World is For You….Not Against You.

What do I mean by that?

I was trying to pick just one wonderful thing that happened today, and my mind was moving like a spider across a web, trying to pick just one. So I will share them, chronologically.

At 6:45 am, my son knocked on my door. He sleeps in a crib and I’ve been scooping him up out of his crib every morning for 3 years and eleven days. The knock made me pause. My boy was getting bigger. He was a monkey and could climb out of his crib easily, but even in his athletic ability, he still called my name in the morning from his room. Him knocking startled and delighted me. I told him to jump in my bed and get some more rest. I wasn’t ready for this moment, yet, I was. Of course I was. But in a way I was sad to realize my son wouldn’t need me in the ways I’d been accustomed to. But I was delighted by his independence, his growth, his joy to come and find me.

At 10:00 am, I entered a fairly empty TJ Maxx looking for thank you cards to send to everyone who so lovingly bought my son a birthday gift and/or attended his third birthday party. I know handwritten thank you cards are so old school, but I love them. However, once inside TJ Maxx one cannot just buy the desired item one came for then leave. (Cardinal rule!) I stumbled upon an orange Nike Oklahoma State hat…..normally $25, on sale for $6. This was a moment of wonder to me. I’d been wanting a hat, there the hat sat, on the shelf, waiting.

At 4:45 pm, I was on a jog. Well. It was more of a walk than a job because it had been cold and I had been busy so I hadn’t gone as frequently. When I run I play Spotify music from my phone that cozies up inside an athletic fanny pack. And as I was running, the birds chirped like it was spring, a melody, their own song. They were louder than my music and I attuned my ear to listen to just them. Before iPhones and digital music and cassette players — there were the birds. To sing and sing and sing some more.

So, world: how do I pick which wonder? Perhaps a side effect of this experiment is noticing wonder more, subconsciously. And by seeing more than one wonder a day, I affirm that the world is on my side. I can look at the small three moments today and see this to be true.

the hat!
My awesome child (right) reading at school…also wonderful.

Day 21: When a Surgery Goes Better than Expected

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.

Day 14: Wonder in a photoshoot and pile of leaves

This is late! But there was wonder in the morning of this day. Bennett is a budding photographer! And he is also fun when taking selfies. He also jumped in a wet pile of leaves after this — and that, friends — that is wonder.