Wonder caused me to wander into the local UU church. It fuels my personal search for truth and meaning. Wonder is that inquisitiveness we discover as children paired with imagination. Our congregation encourages and teaches wonder to our children through the use of the Wonder box and story in worship and the Spirit Play classrooms. As I practice my faith, I see wonder as fluid and part of a continuum of inquisitiveness of experience from the personal/individual to communal/global to the Universe/Mystery. I find myself using terms like “thinking outside the box” or “taking the balcony view” when ultimately I’m wondering. I wonder about ways to deepen our experience of transformation within ourselves and beyond into our communities. As an adult, my wonder is often dulled by knowledge and my desire to learn what is known. Walt Whitman in his poem, When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer, reminds me of the importance of experiencing wonder beyond the classroom, beyond the sacred texts and sources of information. For our sacred texts and wisdom sources began with the experience of wondering about the world we live in. May we take this month through our experience of worship to rediscover Wonder for it holds no limits – – – only those that we set upon it.
When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer by Walt Whitman (from Leaves of Grass)
When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
See you in church,