“I wonder as I wander out under the sky….” ~ John Jacob Niles
These are the first words to a Christmas carol that was beautifully rendered by Niles. His words are magical in that they capture two solitary activities: wondering and wandering.
Wandering is a pastime that has its own rhythm. True wandering is not valid if you are merely strolling to the letter box to post mail or to the store to get some milk. The purpose of wandering is to roam with no purpose other than to wonder. And wondering is an amazing and active thing—it clears out the labyrinth of worry in your mind—putting your thoughts in order while marvelling at the curiosity that is life.
When I was about ten I was allowed to wander from my little house in the country to the creek, or as we called it then, the “crick”. There was no purpose in going to the crick other than to sit on its banks and ponder; or throw stones in the still waters and watch concentric circles form and then disappear. It was on those wanderings that I solved a lot of my problems.
Under the open country sky, I was free to let my thoughts form, to mull them around, then let them go like a kite set free to wander the earth at will.
My goal is to return to my wandering and wondering days—days that seemed endless; days when imagination found animals and objects in the clouds; princes in frogs; freedom in gliding across a frozen pond in new skates; and the thrill of opening a new book—a new adventure.
I wonder as I wander in my mind….and sometimes my problems just disappear for a while and I am a creature of the earth; a soul bound by nothing; a brown bird pecking at the snow for a seed, and finding one, fulfilled.