Activities, Uncategorized

Action #2: Create a Space to Wonder In

Once a week, I will post a suggested activity for creating wonder in your life (mostly to get myself to do it, but I hope you’ll join me). I will include three different participation levels, so lack of time or money will be no excuse. Please share your experiences here to inspire others. Go forth and create wonder!

Create a space to wonder in. While walking the dogs in a huge park in the city the other day, I came across this:

Someone had seen a huge fallen tree and was inspired to gather branches to build an Andy Goldsworthy-esque wall. They used the shape of the dead tree as a dramatic entrance and extended a circular space from it that felt sacred inside. Same woods, same ground, but now it felt hallowed, special, set apart. It was like an invitation to come in and contemplate the beauty of the surroundings from this open air sanctuary, a call to wonder and worship in the woods.

It made me think about the spaces we enter every day and how we don’t notice their specialness, their sacritude (did I just pull a Sarah Palin?), unless something calls our attention to it. May’s comment on last week’s action about our own houses being living museums plays right into this. What could we do to create space for wonder in our own homes, offices, cars, yards, etc.? Here are some ideas:

Ample Time and Money: Build a space dedicated to wonder. Get the kids involved and construct a treehouse in your backyard. Make your car an art piece. Install custom bookshelves to showcase your collection of precious objects and books. What about the pottery/yoga/painting studio you’ve always dreamed of? If I had more space, time and money I would make my dream studio. That goal will have to wait, but there are smaller steps one can take now while they are dreaming big for later.

Limited Resources: Make a teepee in your yard with gathered branches and a tarp or old sheet. Make it comfy and spend the night in it. Cozy up a nook in your living room or bedroom for reading or drawing or wondering of whatever kind you prefer. That could mean sprucing up an old chair to make it special or making room for a desk to put art supplies on so they are accessible. Buy a collection of picture frames and make your hallway a rotating gallery of your work or your child’s drawings or found art. Invite friends over for new exhibits.

Busy and Broke: Sometimes the simplest things can snap you out of your routine and cause you to wonder. Set a collection of meaningful objects on the windowsill in front of your sink where you do the dishes, or in your cubicle at work, or on the dashboard of your car. It could be anything that awes you when you look at it – shells or beach glass gathered on a special trip or a love poem or the fuzzy dice you’ve always wanted. Change them up often so you still see them. When I put my one-year-old’s toys back in the same place every day, he grows bored of them, but if I rearrange things, he notices right away and is attracted to something old just because it’s in a new spot. Keep things fresh for yourself, too. Or for others. What if you put fresh flowers in the bathroom at work? Or draw a circle in the sand at the beach or in chalk on the sidewalk, and wrote “Wonder in here”.

Get out there and create some wonder. Come back and share what you did if you like. Thank you for all who commented on museums they visited last week. Congrats to Tania! I’ve selected her name from the hat to receive a copy of my book. And I am getting closer to having it available for sale. Check back soon!

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