My daughter lives in Arizona. She loves the dry, hot desert climate and its prickly landscape. The first year I went to visit her beloved habitat, I was skeptical. How could the desert compete with all our lush southern greenery? Once there, I became intrigued by the different plants, organized cities, and flat terrain that seamed with the sky. I had to concede, this desert area had its own unique beauty.
Near the end of our trip, we took a day to see the “red rocks” of Sedona. As we drove closer and closer to the mountain area, the landscape started to change. The roads left their now familiar grid and began to wind along. I noticed hints of reds and pinks among the usual browns and occasional greens, and then, suddenly, the hills and mountains began to take on colors I thought only existed on paint palettes and sunsets. Glorious shades of red swirled around me. The rock formations rose like sculptures crafted by the continuous eroding winds and long expired rivers. It filled me with wonder. It filled me with awe. I felt myself to be in the heart of something powerful, and I felt very small.
Wonder, it seems, isn’t relegated to just one event, one landscape, one experience. We can’t schedule wonder, for it will not be governed by our expectations. Wonder has its own power, and it can make itself known without any assistance. It grounds us both to the moment of the experience and to a timelessness beyond the minutes on our clocks, and when it passes it hides deep within us waiting to connect us to our next wondrous moment.