Connected to Wonder



“When we try to pick out anything by itself,

we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”

- John Muir -

It was Thanksgiving Day. A framing crew had arrived at 6 a.m. to set trusses on top of the newly raised walls of our new home. I’d been out early driving from store to store for last minute items needed for our afternoon celebration. I stopped for an iced tea. A yellow leaf fell through the open window of my truck, and I sensed that autumn had finally come to the desert. Sunlight fell on the leaf, lighting it from within. This small unexpected gift gave the hectic morning a patina of wonder.

As I unloaded groceries into our camper, the framing crew sang along with loud banda music, the sound of nail guns and skill saws accompanying their orchestrated work. A few hours later, cooking in my cramped kitchen and the noise and hustle outside the thin walls of our temporary tiny house had turned wonder into grouchiness.

Right after I splashed melted butter on a friend’s knitted table decoration and the cornbread/sausage/apple dressing overflowed from my one large pan, the music seemed to fade. At that moment I only heard the tuba playing a syncopated melody. Then memories of my architect/contractor father playing the tuba with the neighborhood music group came tumbling into the camper.

He’s been gone for forty-nine years, and here he was. My frown turned to a big smile. I felt him in the construction site just steps away, comfortable in the noise, the camaraderie of a crew working hard at what they do best. Blessing our new home, and reminding me that wonder is always near.

NANCY G. SHAPIRO

FINDING CALM IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE