The Wonder of Nature’s Chaos

The Wonder of Nature's Chaos
Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash

If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world would be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength. – Rachel Carson*

Yesterday, I watched the yellowing leaves of the black walnuts in the grove below our house dance in the breeze.  Just then, in that quiet moment without distraction, something I might describe as my soul stirred. I felt it in my chest: a lift, a wish, a settling too. Oh, the wonder.

My eyes focused a little closer, and I saw a single bird on the power line that runs to our house. A gray, round fellow that I could not name. He sat. He sang. Alone.

I look at Milo, the way rolls of beautiful, luscious baby fat cover his legs. I remember the marvel of seeing him on a screen when he was just five-day-old cells in a petrie dish, and I stare at him now – formed, chunky, vocal. Oh, the miracle of him.

Just now, I find myself preoccupied with the dishevelment of our yard, the way the weeds take the garden back to lawn, the seed heads on the grass around our laurels, the yellowing stalks of the irises that I need to cut back.  I want more control of the chaos, both in the yard and in my life.

I know though – with both my mind and my heart – that chaos cannot be tamed, only appreciated, only accepted. And I know, too, that beneath chaos there is order. Nature speaks peace through her golden ratio, her fractals, the way seasons cycle each year.

So I’m choosing Carson’s antidote these days. I’m leaning forward into wonder and watching each leaf of those walnuts dance her way to the ground.


*This quote comes from a beautiful book that my step-mother recommended called The Sense of Wonder.  You can get your copy here.  If you follow the link and place an order, the farm gets a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks, friends.

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