Word Muse: Prepare to be Amazed

by Tina Reeble, Education Specialist, Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and Nature Explore

After I chose the word Amazement last week I wondered if I had taken on too much. With only one week under my belt as the “Word Muse” I wondered; was I really ready to be amazed? I conjured up a vision of the great magician of the universe on stage donning a swirling cape and black top hat, magic wand in hand, shouting, “Prepare to be amazed!” I then pictured myself sitting back in a red velvet theater seat with my drink and popcorn in hand thinking, with a moderate degree of skepticism, “OK world, bring it on!” Hmm. Perhaps that wasn’t the best way to open myself to experience amazement this week.Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a great theologian, said, “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement, to look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; to be spiritual is to be constantly amazed.” This, I decided, was a better mind-set and I went about my week looking at the world through this lens. I was surprised to witness not one, but two simply amazing events.

The beautiful bond of mother and infant amazes me; and there was connection at its finest again (see last week’s post). While in a crowded auditorium, my eyes landed upon a mother looking into her daughter’s eyes and that little baby’s face just lit up from within, her gaze becoming more intense and her smile grew wide. Then the mom would return her attention to our collective sons’ basketball game that was in progress, which is what we had all really gathered to see, and I noticed the baby’s face got a little ‘quieter’. Before too long though, the mother looked down to check on her baby and there it was again! The right pairs of eyes connected and both faces lit up full of love for each other. That, my friends, is Amazing.

When I woke up this morning there was a light blanket of snow covering the landscape and it was still dark outside when I went out to clean off my car. If I had been doing this last week I’m sure I would have been grumbling about how cold it was as I had to deal with that bothersome snow. But not today. This day, I stepped outside and was enveloped in the quiet hush of pre-dawn. You know the kind that seems somehow more intense when everything is covered in snow? I swiped a handful of snow off the hood of my car thinking about how thick and heavy it might be. To my surprise, it swirled up into the air, sparkling in the moonlight as if I had just thrown up a handful of fairy dust. “Take nothing for granted”, I remembered. Amazing.

Our next word is Vegetables. Be bold, choose to be extraordinary, and I will see you next week.

1 response on “Word Muse: Prepare to be Amazed”

The prompt “amazement” was inspiring. I am fortunate to have spent the majority of my professional/adult life surrounded by children. I worked in a K-8 school and have been a mother for 20 years. Now, I work with children from all over Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas at Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure. Amazement with everyday life is more apparent in the world of children. Children are amazed when an adult remembers their name – it validates them. Children are amazed by sudden changes in weather – the don’t watch the weather forecast and are excited when the natural world provides them with a new perspective. Children are amazed when they guess correctly AND when they guess incorrectly – they are amazed to learn why their guess was right or how to guess better the next time the situation presents itself. I am truly grateful to get to experience amazement through the eyes of children; which may explain my own childlike amazement.

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