Monday, June 14, 2010

A.W.E – Amazing WOW Experience

Last week, I had a truly A.W.E.-inspiring moment. A summer storm had just passed, intense with its displays of electrifying lightning and booming thunder and over almost as soon as it began. After it passed, I grabbed the leash and took the Marty for a walk.

I saw it immediately – a beautiful rainbow arching in the sky. It was gorgeous. I stared at it the entire time. Midway through the walk, I noticed something else, a second faint rainbow, almost like a shadow over the first. A double-rainbow! I didn’t have my real camera with me but I did have my camera phone and I quickly tried to capture it. The photo is okay but it just didn’t do justice to what I saw with my own eyes.

It is truly a gift to keep your sense of wonder and awe into adulthood. It’s one of the things I appreciate most about my dad. At 72, he still has experiences that make him say, “Wow!” Others have lost their sense of wonder and find awe and wow beneath them. As adults, they discount these moments, labeling them immature or irrational or just plain silly. My heart goes out to those people.

I remember driving across country some years ago. I had stopped for the night in Albuquerque, NM. The next morning, I got up very early and hit the road again, several hours before sunrise. I drove out of the city and into the night. And then, it happened. A.W.E. Outside of the city, driving into darkness, the sky opened up. I saw twice as many stars as I had ever seen before and they were all about five times as big! It was almost as if I could reach out and touch them. I felt like I was driving in space! I was A.W.E.-struck. It was amazing.

I could sit here and recount some of my most A.W.E.-inspiring moments – an unexpected elephant sighting in South Africa, watching dolphins playing in the ocean, marveling at the tininess of a newborn’s hand, the beauty of a sunset or a perfect rose dappled with several raindrops. My point is that A.W.E. happens and it happens all around us.

A.W.E. can happen anywhere at any time we just have to be aware of it and willing to experience it.

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