Wonderful, magical and more

The sunlight sparkles on the water off Cozumel, Mexico, January 2015

The sunlight sparkles on the water off Cozumel, Mexico, January 2015

“This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle; wonderful, magical and more, to whosoever will think of it.”Thomas Carlyle

One of the surest ways to defeat despair is to stop and experience something totally amazing. A star-studded sky at night or a sparkling sunlit ocean are obvious choices, but there are hundreds more within easy reach.

There’s just one catch. You have to contribute two things that are increasingly scarce: time, and attention. You need not invest much of either for a quick attitude adjustment, but you have to shut everything else out and really be there for the show. It will be worth it.

In case you are short on ideas of what to choose, here are a few possibilities. You can look very closely at a handmade gift that you treasure, and wonder at the talent and love that created it. Listen to a stirring symphony or an inspiring vocalist, and notice what emotions come to the surface.

If you are out and about, step into a bakery or coffee shop and scent-surf. Listen to the birds, or the sound of vehicles driving by, or the voices of people communicating with each other.

Watch a toddler explore. Enjoy the antics of a squirrel or a puppy. Find a place to sit still outdoors and watch the wind, faint or strong, making itself seen by the way it touches everything else.

Write a note to someone you care about, and tell them why they are wonderful.

Look at your hands or feet, and think of all the ways they make your life possible every day. Throw the circuit breaker on your electrical panel, and go without electricity for awhile so you will know what an incredible gift it is. Don’t want to do that? Me neither.

Thomas Carlyle didn’t have half of the things that we think of as necessities, but he did have the eyes to see wonder, and the heart to appreciate it. Isn’t that all any of us really needs?


  1. Cherie

    Julia, I got a kick out of your suggestion to throw your circuit breaker because that is essentially what Ron and I used to do. We would pick up and go primitive camping in the woods to see if we could still be with the natural world. I loved it. We would stay for several weeks. That brought us to the realization that we don’t need nearly as much of this civilization as we thought! Now we sit out back and watch the wildlife from the porch.

    Keeping Jeff, Matt and you always in my prayers. Love and Light!

    • Cherie, you’re a better woman than I am! I love the outdoors but don’t relish the idea of primitive camping, mostly because I’m not into porta-potties or even cement-block public park bathrooms! I guess I’m just a wimp. But when I was younger, I did love camping out with the Girl Scouts and going to summer church camp, both of which were pretty primitive! (In scouts we used to have to dig our own “la-la” for every campout — “la-la” being a euphemism for “latrine.”)

      Sitting out back on the porch is much more my speed now, but as you say, it’s nice to go without luxury once in a while so we will remember to appreciate it. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Thanks so much for your prayers, and for the love and light too!

  2. Sheila

    Julia, after reading and sharing on FB, I started my busy day. I was ironing earlier, stopped abruptly to say a simple prayer. “Thank you, Lord, for these hands and feet, and the strength that I have today!” What a wonderful blog, a wonderful friend!

    • Wow, if I can inspire gratitude while someone is ironing, I need to practice what I preach. Thanks so much for your kind words and steadfast encouragement! It means more than I can say.

  3. MaryAnn

    Wow! What a blessing: the beauty to behold while being still! I decide I will! Thank you, Julia!

    • You are welcome, Mary Ann! Thanks for being here, and have a blessed weekend!

  4. Well said. Have to look at everything with new eyes. Wishing a sparkling autumn.

    • A sparkling autumn sounds wonderful– I’m wishing for one too. And working on seeing it through new eyes. Giant seasonal hugs!

  5. HarryS

    What a wonderful way to cultivate a sense of gratitude.
    Thank you my dear Cyber friend.

    • Harry, as always, you are welcome! I’m glad you are here with us.

  6. Good morning, Julia! So true! I love sparkly things, so it would be difficult to let that sea go unnoticed … then again, I rarely see the sea except in vacations, when I have more leisure to pay attention.
    You’ve inspired me to look for wonder in the every-day experiences around me.
    Have a wonder-filled day!

    • Hi Susan, my day today was wonder-filled, now that I think of it– brightened by a brigade of bumblebees drawn to our Sedum. There were so many that Jeff called me out to the deck to look down on them where they were buzzing around the edges of our downstairs porch. Of course a photo fest ensued. After awhile they started looking drunk on nectar, flying and crawling more slowly. Perhaps it was my imagination. It was so fun to watch them that Jeff had to remind me to come in for dinner.

      But nothing lifts my spirit more than those amazingly sparking sunlit waters. No matter how hard I try to capture the immense splendor of the ocean, my pictures never quite live up to it. But it’s nice to have as a reminder.

      Hope you have a wonder-filled weekend! (Thanks to Marlene for adding that phrase to my vocabulary!)

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