Saturday, January 21, 2006

I wonder

This past week I went snowboarding with my youngest son and a couple of my friends. My friends are skiers and my son and I, boarders. (du-u-de!) When we got to the mountain they went their way and we went ours. Since my son is relatively new at this 'sport', we decided to stay on some of the less challenging runs and take it slow. Every trip back up the slope on the lift, my son, who is twelve, would offer up a different question. "Dad, what would happen if my board fell?, Dad, if you saw somebody bif it hard into that tree down there would you jump off the lift to help him?, Dad, does the lift actually slow down between poles or does it just seem like it because it gets so quiet? Dad, if we're up so high why don't the stars feel any closer?" ...great questions from a mind that never quits wondering. It got me to thinking. Thinking about this thing we call 'wonder'.

All of my life, or at least the part that my mind lets me remember, I've had a sort of wanderlust. A want to go. A want to see the world. To see what other people live like. To hear the wind through different trees. To see waves roll in on a foreign shore. To realize that laughter sounds the same in any language. What I didn't realize until that night with my boy, was that it was fueled by the same thing that fuels his questions. Wonderlust. From silly things like why we call one thing tunafish and yet we don't call another chickenbird, to slightly more profound things like what does it really mean to love? I love to wonder. It never gets old because there's rarely a definitive answer to most 'I wonder' questions. Wonder produces more wonder. Life is short and I may never afford to wander like I want to, but I know for certain that I'll never afford not to wonder. Do you think it's possible? Hmmm, I wonder!


Steph said...

I wonder where he gets that inquisitive mind and propensity for deep thinking? His mother must be very wise. ;) Mmnn Hmmnn.
He's just like you! You know you were wondering the same things, he just beat you to the verbal. It's an awesome quality and I would have given anything to be a fly on that chairlift to hear the wonder in his voice. What an incredible quality to pass down to your son.

freeman said...

- Let him ask questions: knowing how to do that throughout life is so much more valuable than having the "answers".

- Let him understand that understanding isn't the goal, it's a means to an end.

- Let him understand that facts lead to answers: they aren't the answers.

- Let him wander: too many others will almost coerce him to stay corraled.
- Let him wonder. Let his life be "wonder full". Give him a sense that peace goes beyond understanding, that understanding is limited.

In case you were wondering, you are him. Give that same teaching to the other two Js still under the roof.

Anonymous said...

"All who 'wonder' are not lost". The world is full of wonder and mystry. What does it really mean to love another and let oneself be loved are the big ones. Keep wondering. I will enjoy your journey.