a rainbow over the mountains in front of my retreat house
I have fallen into a certain pattern in my life out here in the desert. I awake at dawn, get a cup of coffee and go out into my tranquil garden to meditate in the coolness, before the heat of day.
Yesterday, my pattern was broken. I did not wake up to the tranquil sound of silence. The winds were howling as they swept down the mountain canyons. The sun was shining, and yet when I looked up at the sky, ominous black rain clouds were making their way across the desert sky (very unusual for this time of year).
It all seemed strange and even mystical to me. It all looked and felt so very mysterious.
Then something even stranger and more mystical occurred. A rainbow emerged over the mountains, and I felt as if I were a little child again as I gasped in wonder at the sight. I had actually never seen a rainbow out here in the desert. The vision of the rainbow touched my heart with delight as I did a little dance at the glory of this wonderful surprise.
Today, as I reflected on my sense of wonder over the sight of that rainbow, I also felt enormous gratitude. I am so grateful that, at my age, I can still feel a sense of wonder and awe. I realized that the ability to feel "wonder" is indeed a gift.
In our advanced technological age of science and predictability, it's easy to think that we have the world all "figured out." We have answers for everything.
As I see it, in our age we seem to have lost a sense of the mystery of life. We live our everyday routine without a sense of the "wonder" in it all, and so life becomes dull and lackluster.
I am reminded of a blessing pronounced upon persons when they are baptized in the Christian tradition:
Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give them the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.
"Wonder" is a gift - to be able to be surprised by mystery and exalt in wonder - what a great gift for our own times and in our own age.
I also found a phrase from one of my favorite "Gaelic Blessings."
As the breath of light awakens color
May the dawn anoint your eyes with wonder.
Today as I go about the business of my everyday routine, I am going to be praying this blessing for myself and for everyone else who crosses my path.