Sunday, December 22, 2013

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

          One of many favorite scenes in the legendary holiday movie, A Christmas Story is when an elated nine year old, Ralphie Parker rubs sleep from his eyes after rising Christmas morning, slides open his bedroom window and in pure awestruck amazement peers out across his snow sugared neighborhood. "Wow!", the only word of wonder falls breathlessly from Ralphie's lips as he looks out in all directions. "Wow!"  That particular scene was actually filmed in 1983, not far from my hometown on the shores of Lake Erie. Today, you can tour the Christmas Story house and museum year 'round in Cleveland, OH. Even though the area is famous for blizzards and lake effect snow, the Christmas morning footage took a film crew over twelve hours to recreate the beautiful winter scene with ice machines.
     Children of all ages who have grown up adoring A Christmas Story's 24 hour television rotation never tire of reciting every line and savoring every classic quote. How many of us have to repeat the word "fragile" as "frag-geel lay" out loud every time we see it printed on a box or crate?. Thanks to genius author Jean Shepard, my childhood and a few of my siblings holidays were joyously punctuated with the anticipation of "What I Want for Christmas "theme writing (see video above), pink nightmare bunny suits, double-dawg dares, the glow of electric sex in the window and snowball sandwiches.

       How many of us reminisce when snow days meant playful hours frolicking in an enchanted winter wonderland rather than an inconvenience we have to shovel off walkways and scrape off car windshields before driving cautiously to work like the Grinch's we've become? It's not what you look at its what you see.
      As we grow older it's easy to lose our excitement and fascination. As adults our own intellect and arrogance allows us to falsely believe we know about every one and every thing instead of trusting our intuition to just ....believe. We cut off our own curiosity and creativity. It's imperative that we nurture our own inner nine year olds especially if we want to maintain a heart of appreciation and a wide eyed sense of wonder. When was the last time you were awe struck by nature or felt deeply connected to the beauty of the world?  When was the last time you were silenced by emotion or felt the wisdom of the mysterious?  Be grateful for the gifts you have right now. Be grateful for the beauty and richness of this moment. Being present is the greatest present you will ever give or receive.

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