It is not a secret that we, as a family, love to hike. Deborah and I would hike everyday, if we were able, and schedules would permit. Our children enjoy exploring, but sometimes they’re not “feeling” the desire to hike. Mostly, when they’re not “feeling” like hiking, they’re actually saying we want to explore new trails. Benjamin enjoys being carried, when we’re hiking, if we’re on a hike and he’s in the stroller he (every time) communicates that he wants out. When in the stroller, he cannot see everything that is around him. Additionally, we have experienced that Benjamin loves to feel the breeze (when there is a breeze) on his face, and in his hair. Benjamin, every time his eyes take in the beauty and ambience of the hike, is engaging those experiences with fresh eyes, curiosity, and new wonder.
As we grow older, it can be harder to adjust our eyes to see new things, experience fresh curiosity, and allow our hearts to wonder and dream. Benjamin’s curiosity comes from the fact he’s 11-months old, as he is experiencing many things for the first time. We, when considering living into and approaching familiar moments with new curiosity and fresh eyes, often hold back because we’re anchored in all of our life experiences: the good, the bad, the hard, the painful, the certain, the uncertain, the joyous, the grieving, and the hopeful realities of life.
I still believe that new wonder, fresh curiosity, and moments of reimagination can occur in our lives. It may take some courage, vulnerability, and intentionality to allow ourselves to dream again. The first thing to consider, is that when giving ourselves permission to breathe and engage wonder/curiosity, that does not mean we are neglecting or pretending that hard things don’t exist in our lives. Indeed, we know all too well, that we carry hard things (that many people don’t know about) all the time. However, with all the curiosity of a Benjamin, find a moment in your schedule (just a few minutes to begin) and take a walk, or gaze out into your yard at the clouds or at a familiar tree/plant. As you do this practice, exhale a deep breath, as you let out that breath say a little prayer: God, help me to experience this moment in a new way, in a way that makes me curious, hopeful, and full of wonder. Amen
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” Brene Brown