Wonder, awareness of the present moment!
Reading time: 2 min.
Translation: Régine Paradis
1958: No sound disturbs the golden plains of the Vendée. * The morning air is crystal clear. It is spring.
A little girl in a yellow dress embroidered with blue flowers stands in the middle of a prairie.
A little surprised to be there, she looks at the house, the immensity of the blue sky. She bends down to smell a pink daisy.
She is quite alone.
She bursts out laughing, it’s a cuckoo* who says hello.
They are one and sing cuckoo together. Pure moment of ecstasy.
62 years later, I still remember this magnificent awareness of life, this moment of wonder.
In her book “Cultiver l’émerveillement” (Cultivating wonder), author Catherine L’Ecuyer* promotes a return to slowness and wonder, which is a fundamental and innate need in children.
And how do we cultivate wonder?
“Respecting the rhythms and stages of childhood, the thirst for beauty, discovery, silence, mystery, nature.”
What child has not been “lost” for long moments watching a snail move, soaking up the colors of a rainbow! Nature is conducive to wonder.
In urban environments, there is also room for wonder. A clown pulling a rabbit out of a hat, a cat, a fountain, the lights of a Christmas tree.
“A child’s mind is receptive to the imaginary and the wonderful. The world of children is full of dazzle. Their capacity for surprise, their readiness for the unexpected, is intact.”*
It is important not to confuse “organized magic” with wonder. Make believing in a Santa Claus is a far feeling from such a moment.
Father Dino Bottino, a priest of the Catholic Church in Italy, caused a scandal by explaining to children that Santa Claus did not exist. Rael goes further: “Teaching children made-up stories, such as Santa Claus, only serves to mislead them. It gives them a bad education by showing that their own parents, who should be reliable and honest, are liars.
In contrast to inculcated beliefs, we cultivate wonder by respecting the rhythms and stages of childhood. In adolescence, we lose this facility. In search of thrills, we tend to downgrade everything: the beauty of falling snow, a landscape that is nonetheless grandiose, going so far as to take for granted those we love. Then we tend to project our adult torments onto our children. We teach them fear and, for their safety, we keep them from exploring
Shouldn’t we keep children’s wonder alive by feeding them our own? In other words, make full use of the child in us to imagine, dream, and appreciate the beauties that surround us. For an adult who is attentive to a child, the greatest wonder is the child’s unrestrained wonder. The wonder of children amazes those who contemplate them. “Contemplation is not just auditory or visual. Real contemplation is done using all ours senses, either together or separately. Learn to contemplate on the faces of those around you, images, nature; that is what it means to be in harmony with everything around you. Contemplation complements correct observation.” – Rael, Words of Maitreya, p.15 PDF format.
Columnist for the Raelian Movement
* Vendée, region of France.
* Cuckoo: Migratory bird of Africa whose song is a triumphant cuckoo.
* In French only: “Cultiver l’émerveillement“, Catherine L’Ecuyer, Éditions Québec Amérique.