The Other Necessity
It is a beautiful autumn morning, the air light with coolness, the birds once again songful now past the breathtaking heat of summer. I’ll be posting my next “series” blog on the weekend, but this morning, I’m inviting you to share a moment with me, to insure beyond your cornflakes and each breath you’re taking that you also have the one other thing that life requires—a little bit of wonder. For years, I have known that wonder, awe. whimsy, call it what you may, is as necessary to maintain life as is food, water and breath. We truly must insure ample and continual doses of wonder, and for me, here is where it came from this morning.
I have been re-reading Mysticism and the New Physics, by the late Michael Talbot, a book to wonder with if ever there was one. The passage that got me this time, among so very many, was talk about the size of an atom. Atom is the name we’ve given to the fundamental building blocks of matter. You and I have come into form thanks to the slathering together of atoms, but here’s the wonderful bit. Look at you, look at your children, look at your spouse, your work mates or your dog and consider this. If we had an atom the size of a cherry, we would still not be able to see its nucleus with the naked eye. If we enlarged the atom to the size of a basketball or even the room you’re sitting in, the nucleus would still remain too small to be seen. If we kept going, and expanded this atom to fill the dome on St. Peter’s Cathedral, one of the largest domes in the world, the nucleus would then be only the size of a grain of sand.
How then does matter, the flesh of those your hug good-bye or snuggle to sleep each night, come about from something not just that small, but that spacious? How extraordinary this world we inhabit, this universe we live in. Breathe deeply and let its sheer magic give you a moment’s respite from all that worries your mind or makes your heart heavy. Now, you’re in the place of possibility, and that dear friends is why wonder is essential to life.
Reminder: Topic 5 – Stuffing the Infinite into your Briefcase, the next episode in
my new blog series: The View from Here, will be posted on the weekend.