Walking my dog I came across something I have never noticed in my 37 years on this Earth.
I’ve doubtless walked past it many times, but this was the first time I actually saw it.
Thin bridges of iridescence, flaring horizontally, suspended impossibly in mid-air and revealed only by the morning light. Their pattern was so consistent, a few inches separating each wavering line, that at first I struggled to make sense of what I was seeing. For a moment, my magical mind categorised them as a portal to another dimension.
In a way they were.
As I got closer and my rational mind took over, I could see that they were spider webbing, each thread flowing from the hedge on the side of the path, disappearing to connect with somewhere I couldn’t quite see.
A portal to the present moment, a place as magical as another dimension and somewhere I don’t spend nearly enough time, despite the best of intentions.
This moment synchronised with another a few weeks later, when reading an email subscription from fantasy writer David Farland. He was writing about the creation of magic systems in fantasy novels. He observed that many magic systems fail to enthral readers because they don’t inspire the wonder people are searching for.
This realisation hit me like a stupefy spell: I read fantasy to visit a state of wonder. I’d always seen my love of fantasy novels and movies as a form of escapism, and whilst there is that to it, I think David hit the nail on the head: I’m a wonder junkie.
Luckily, my delight at the spiders’ webs and my continued connection to the natural world through my poetry has shown me that I’m perfectly capable of finding wonder without escaping my current dimension. In fact, the more immersed I am able to become in what surrounds me, the more wonder I’m likely to find.
Where do you find your wonder?