A daily experience of wonder?

written by erica quam

Yesterday I was walking out to take the recycling out to the alley. On my way, I stopped to duck underneath a spider web that was extended from the branch of a tree over to one of the chairs in our back yard. The truth is...I do NOT like spiders. AT all. I don't even like to see pictures of them in my guide books!  I'm not sure how I developed this arachnophobia...but, I generally let Kerry "take care of them" around the house or out at the cabin when they wander inside.

Despite of my fear of spiders and what I might see - I took a closer look into the tree. When I did I saw a few other webs had been spun in the branches. When I took an even closer look, I saw that there were actually too many webs for me to count!

Okay, so I'll admit, the voice in the back of my head asked..."if there are that many webs, how many spiders are up actually up there"? YIKES!

Then I took a deep breath and more closely examined this marvel in my backyard. I was so impressed, I grabbed my camera. There was a wonderful fog that had rolled in that morning and the dew droplets were visible on the strands of the web.

A few things had to be aligned for me to see those webs.

  1.  I had to take the recycling out 
  2.  The fog had to be there to backlight the web
  3.  I had to CHOOSE to stop and observe (instead of my normal morning autopilot routine flying through my checklist of to-do's).

This experience served as a simple reminder to me of how easy it is to lose our sense of wonder...as we get older, we get more responsibilities, and we have busier lives.  

The reality is, the busier our lives get, the more we need to make the time for these small moments of wonder.  No matter how busy we get, when we can stop for even 2 or 3 minutes each day to experience a sense of wonder things actually slow down.

I know for me, these moments bring an appreciation for my life and how small I am in the scale of the universe. They bring me a sense of humility - making my "problems" seem smaller and more trivial. They make me realize how we are interconnected - with each other and everything in the universe.  

Before I went back inside, I finally saw the orb weaver going back over and checking her webs - just doing some minor repairs.  I just stood for a few moments and simply watched...in wonder!

Share your comments below:

  • What experiences have you had in your life where time stood still and you had that sense of wonder?
  • Did you notice your mood change? emotions shift? mind get quieter?  what else?


This week, take 2-3 minutes each day to experience a sense of wonder...especially during challenges and difficult times.

  • Look outside: catch a sunrise, sunset, or look at the moon
  • Look at your kids, your pets, your partner & marvel at them
  • Look at yourself: what you've learned, how you've changed, or the challenges you've overcome