In our book Spiritual Rx: Prescriptions for Living a Meaningful Life and in the pages devoted to the practice of wonder on this website, we wrote:
"Wonder begins in the senses, comes alive in the imagination, and flourishes in adoration of the Divine. It arises from our natural curiosity about the great adventure of life. It increases our capacity to be both a bold inner-space tripper and an avid explorer of the physical world."
Brian Doyle, editor of Portland Magazine, has written 20 acclaimed books of nonfiction and two novels. He is a Pied Piper of imagination who spurs us on to savor the world and to open our senses to the marvels all around us. As editor of this collection of 37 essays, stories, and reflections, he shares with us pieces from the world's best writers on the sacred, the profane, and the ordinary. It's a great collection, and we agree with his description of it.
Everyday spirituality is the seedbed for the practice of wonder. Here are a few of our favorites from this collection:
- Patrick Madden's "On Laughing" where he taps into the life-affirming qualities of the "funniest sound there is"
- Mary Oliver's "Do You Think There Is Anything Not Attached by Its Unbreakable Cord to Anything Else?" where the poet challenges us to get up in the middle of the night and sing
- William Stafford's "Every War Has Two Losers," where he reflects on the madness of violence as a very dangerous presence in our lives
- John Daniel's "Learning to Love," where he exercises his curiosity on a river
- Pattiann Rogers' "I Hear and Behold God in Every Object, Yet Understand God Not in the Least" in which she muses on expressing our love of the universe
- Pico Iyer's "A Chapel Is Where You Can Hear Something Beating Below Your Heart" where this contemplative writer and world traveler finds solace in Christian retreat-houses.
Wonder is a long-distance runner who is energized by side trips; it enables us to see things with fresh eyes.