As I age and try to grow older, I ponder how I can preserve the essence of wondering. Aging often means looking for rational reasons for what we experience and dismissing the value of emotional experiences like “wondering” and wandering off beaten paths. As our younger selves have often embraced the “going beyond” trait of wondering, why do we feel more uncomfortable now in questioning ourselves and in suspending the need of quick answers? While we all slow down in the relentless aging process, why do we feel less inclined to take the time to wonder and explore new choices? Are awe and mystery soul dispositions reserved for young ages?
Wondering can mean sitting your truth and opening doors to more than one. It can mean letting the fire within yourself reflect its light in the experiences and people you embrace in your life or that get in your way out of serendipity. When I wonder, I embrace considering something else, making new connections, opening new options, kindling the fire of creativity by starting from the spark of imagination.
In moments of challenges or crisis dominated by fears, wondering can mean an ephemeral escape from the “now” or the process of consideration of new life-changing shifts. When we embrace new nuances or perspectives, we can be more inclined to empathize, understand, and share others’ feelings, even when they are rage, tears, frustration, numbness, need for liberation and yearning to belong in a community. When we are in conversations with minorities, wondering and suspending our “selves” are preconditions to start a long journey to feel authentically beside them in their life journeys.
Wondering “what if I…” can make us wonder what I could do with others. It can help stretch the I into a We and add new seats to a table we consider sometimes only ours. In the current transition from summer to fall, who do we want to rise to be in the next seasons of our lives? Which maps and paths do we feel the call to trust and follow? Sometimes I wonder… in your company… on the shoulders of our ancestors.