Thursday, 23 August 2012
Monday, 20 August 2012
What is Wonder?
“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” (Socrates)
I wonder? What is it to wonder? Do we all wonder?
Children wonder and it is no surprise that they do....they have only been on the planet for a short time and there is so much to discover. I still wonder daily and feel privileged when a child allows me to enter their world of wonder.
Walking along the beach with my husband I spotted an office chair standing on the sand and pointed my camera at it. What are you taking a picture of the chair for?" he asked. "Because it is an office chair on the beach and you don't usually find them there!" He shrugged. When we got closer I again took a picture. "Why are you taking MORE photos of the chair?" "It's covered in hundreds of snail like creatures". He grunted and waited for me to finish. "I wonder where it came from, how did it get there, I wonder how long I has been in the sea? "Well you will never know" he mumbled and walked on.
As I walked I continued wondering. That chair must have been in the sea for a long time? Whose chair could it have been? A couple of hours later the chair was missing. I continued to wonder what story that chair would be able to tell if it could talk. Maybe it got washed into the sea after a flood, maybe it fell off a passing ship, maybe it came from the other end of the world?
During the week I often thought about the chair and continued wondering about the chair and it's story. The following weekend we again walked along the beach and there, in the dunes, stood the office chair. "I know," my husband commented when I again started to wonder "that's a migrating office chair!!"
I continue to wonder about the office chair on the beach and our differing reactions to it. Why did I keep wondering while my husband didn't, he must have wondered when he was a child...or did he? Has he just lost the ability to wonder? Did I retain my sense of wonder because I work with young children. I love being drawn into their 'wonderings' and joining in the magic world this takes me into.
Why? Do children only ask this because they want to annoy us or are they wondering? Are they asking for a detailed answer or inviting us to join in their journey of discovery? Do all children wonder or have some children stopped wondering? Could this be because adults no longer facilitate or support this? Being able to wonder about the world allows us to be creative and imaginative, to hypothesise and theorise, and to engage in the amazing changing world around us.
Noun - A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
Verb - Desire or be curious to know something.
Synonyms - marvel - miracle - prodigy - astonishment - amazement