I was enjoying this children's book illustration today while visiting the website of Kayleen West. The image is entitled, "Infinity - In Awe of God, No 2", and I thought, "How wonderfully fitting a description."
I remember what it was like as a child to stare up at a wide, twinkling night sky and be so amazed at the BIGness of the world. Don't we all remember that feeling? I think this illustration captures that emotion so well. And then, of course, inevitably, somewhere, sometime, at an indistinct moment in our growing up, we just stop. We cease to live in a state of wonder.
I realized that about myself today. I rarely stand in awe anymore. At least, not in the same way I once did. I can remember a time - as recently as college - when I would walk to class, taking time to look up and notice the sky, deciding (being a writer) what would be the fullest way to describe it - say, for instance, "with silver clouds like dirty cotton balls, strewn over the expanse of the sky with only a halfhearted threat of rain". Or something just as soppingly flowery.
I would come up with descriptions like that as I walked along, writing in my head a perfect description for everything, down to the way the air met my skin, and the sensation it produced - both physically and in the way it stirred my insides.
And maybe you're thinking I'm really strange and eccentric to have done stuff like this - or to be admitting it now! - and maybe I am, but somehow, I think doing it made me more alive. Or at least more aware of being alive. I was more accutely aware of everything around me - the colors, the smells, the textures, the heights and depths and sounds that encircled my present world - and somehow, living that way, purposely seeking out the details and recording them for myself in my mind, made everything appear strikingly more beautiful, even the ugliness. Maybe that's because the ugliness had a name, a description, a place in this story of my life that I was recording as I lived it, and strangely, this gave everything more purpose.
Perhaps that's why we grow up and stop being souls in wonder - children who live in awe - because we stop seeing our lives as a story.
Perhaps this should change. Perhaps we should all do a little reassessing and try to find that childlike wonder again - believing in destiny and beauty without fully understanding them, but being content to know that they exist and to see their traces.