Finding Awe

There’s a wooded area across the street from our kitchen door. I like to stand on the patio while the coffee brews in the morning, or in the evening after dinner, to see if the deer have arrived. They like to eat the grass and weeds that surround a small pond and I love to watch. I hope I never stop being delighted when I see them.

Annular Eclipse, Pyramid Lake, Nevada 2012

One evening last week when I stepped outside to look for the mother deer and her fawn, the sound of cicadas and croaking frogs was so loud I called Ben to listen with me. It sounded like a symphony of bugs and amphibians tuning their instruments before a concert. I hope I never grow accustomed to their music.

There are bats where we live. On our first week here we saw dozens over our house. They were dining on flying insects and then dancing through the sky to find their next juicy mortal. We haven’t seen that many at once since, but now and again I’ll see one or two grabbing a snack. It surprises me every time. I hope seeing a bat in the sky above my house never stops surprising me.

These experiences create a sense of wonderment and awe in me. And for that I’m grateful because sometimes it feels like we’ve lost our ability to be awed. Sometimes it feels like we’re too distracted by the noise of the world or too jaded by the onslaught of constant information to find time for quiet moments of awe.

But these moments of awe are beneficial to our well being. The sense of awe we feel when we’re gazing at a star filled sky, for instance, or witnessing an eclipse, creates in us a sense of ‘small self’ and deepens our sense of connection with others.

What experiences elicit awe in you?

6 thoughts on “Finding Awe

  1. marianslattery

    Hi Mimm, How lovely to hear about your experiences with the natural world…quite different from California Ave, huh? Nice, sorta’ more complicated yoga this am, and exciting train-of-thought to ride today about how joy is equal to light, light makes awe possible…”and on the 7th day,”…how all the trees and stones and water waited to shine in the dark those other 6 days…. oh, my goodness. Better not miss my stop.

    Don’t want to think that I would throw a wrench into your insistence on Joy in autobiography, but I’ll try. Much love, Marian ________________________________


    • Yes…a completely new/old experience for me…very much like being a child in rural Pennsylvania except everything here is bigger and greener. And…yes…today’s yoga was a little more complicated than I anticipated. I always arrive with a plan but then allow the muse or the energy all of you are sending out to guide me. ❤


  2. Kathleen

    I know what you mean. One time while living in Crozet we saw a flying squirrel zip from one tree to another in our backyard! We were amazed!


  3. Recently, I got on the freeway on my way into the city to have dinner with a friend. It was near Palm Springs, California and the sun was going down. The clouds in the sky, the mountains framing the scene of wind turbines, and the setting sun lighting it all up in the most amazing colors. It was an artists scene, straight out of a movie. I was alone in the car raving about it, outloud. I wanted to stop the car right there and just soak it all in.
    I’ve lived here all my life. The desert is loaded with awe inspiring sites. But this…man, it took the cake. And weeks later, I’m still high on it.


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