"Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories."
~ Ray Bradbury
Until the fall of 2009, I was a home schooling mom. My son Josh, now 23, is a home school high school graduate; Casey, a joint enrolled college student, and Nathan, a high school freshman, both entered public school for the first time last August. I loved home schooling my kids. I taught my boys how to read and do math; we shared great books, listened to classical music, went to concerts, and visited museums.
And we went on nature walks. My inspiration in those days was a teacher from the Victorian era named Charlotte Mason. She encouraged her students to go outdoors in all kinds of weather, commune with nature, and record their observations in notebooks. Charlotte's students painted with watercolors; my boys and I drew with colored pencils. I am no artist, but the point wasn't to create art. The point was to SEE. It was powerful. And my children's notebooks were beautiful.
Experiencing the world through the eyes of my children helped bring back the sense of wonder I had lost since leaving childhood, and I am determined to hang onto it. Last Wednesday, as I left my critique partner Lindy's house, I noticed a bed of violets on her lawn. I love violets, so I stopped and took a picture.
Then I noticed a patch of dandelions, so I took a picture of them, too.
Now I am aware that violets and dandelions are considered weeds, and people spray their lawns with toxic chemicals to get rid of them. But I happen to think that perfectly manicured grass is highly overrated. Besides, dandelions have magical powers. After a dandelion flower goes to seed, if you pick it carefully, close your eyes and make a wish, then blow all the seeds away, your wish will come true. Of course, you have to blow EVERY single seed away - similar to blowing out all the candles on a birthday cake. Knowing that, how can you NOT love a dandelion? I am even considering having a picture of a dandelion gone to seed tattooed onto my ankle. That's just how special I believe them to be.
Have you lost your childlike sense of wonder? Try skipping across the parking lot from your car into the grocery store. Blow some bubbles through a wand. Color a picture with a box of crayons.
Make a wish on a dandelion.
"Never lose the childlike wonder. It's just too important. It's what drives us. Help others."
~ Randy Pausch