I almost tripped again running this week in the morning, and I realized there’s a reason I so often stumble on the ground. It’s because I am so often so dazzled by the morning sky. The grayish clouds grew pink, lit from below by the rising sun. As I ran my head and heart thrummed with “Wow, wow, wow.”
I can’t stop saying wow.
I wish there was a more articulate, more elegant word than “wow” to describe the soul-stirring sense of awe that sweeps over me multiple times a day. In the last few months I’ve found this in the skyfire of sunset and in the glow of the moon rising, in the nests in bare trees, in the sudden, noisy song of dozens of sparrows even though I can’t see them, in the long shadows of my daughter’s eyelashes against her sleeping cheeks, in the words of poets and writers too numerous to mention.
Does this constant wow contradict the low note of lamentation that plays constantly in my life? I don’t actually think so. Maybe remaining open to the wow necessitates a permeability of spirit that means I’m also open to a certain sorrow. These are the two edges of the world’s beauty that Virginia Woolf described, anguish and laughter springing from the same single truth. I suspect I’m just joining my voice to an ancient chorus here, kneeling in supplication among a swirling sea of humanity. And we all whisper the same thing under our breath:
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