Taking note of wonder


Tonight I unlocked the back door as soon as I entered the house, watching shards of sunlight slither across the grass like the smooth yellow of butter melting in a pan. The sandals were hastily unbuckled, before I stepped gratefully through the cool slicks of lawn with the watering can heavy in my grasp. Sometimes, at times like these, it strikes me how much of life – when you look hard enough, squint a little – is laced with wonder. How these fleeting moments – the curve of the water as it slides from can to black earth, the dusky perfume of the roses, the tomatoes maturing with each passing day, the happy memories laid around this garden like stones – are the marrow of life, small and momentary though they may be. A spider scuttles beneath my feet. A lupin, mauve and gleaming, sways in the wind. I take another breath, an everyday wonder all its own.

My mother’s clematis blooming. His hazel eyes that could, alone, contain the universe. The cool glass of cordial, its condensation wet between my fingers. The scattering of stars in this city sky, that ancient light beaming through time – how incredibly, unbelievably, tremendously wonderful is that?

These ephemera are more than enough: enough to negate the uncertainties and the back-wrenching hours in strip-lit offices, the endless journeys stuffed cheek by sweaty jowl on the underground, the exhaustion, the occasional worry that keeps my synapses ticking over into night. And when I take time to notice such mundane miracles, I am sated by this wonder, by these quiet moments of existence. I stoop to retrieve my sandals, lock the door again and sit down to write.

My midsummer’s resolution? Take note of the wondrous. Soak it in. Because marvels are everywhere when you stop to look.

Photo of my grandmother’s memorial roses, 35mm film, Canon EOS 650.