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Tuesday, November 16, 2010


When is the last time you felt awe? If you've ever had a child, you have experienced it. If you've ever noticed the color of autumn leaves backlit by the setting sun, you would have felt awe at the miracle of nature. There are ample opportunities to feel awe, if we are paying attention.

The dictionary defines awe as, "a reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder." Used in religious references, awe sometimes leans toward the fear. I like to think we can choose to be filled with respect and wonder, whenever something moves us so deeply.

I feel fortunate to notice opportunities to experience awe. I find it most often in nature; in the fleeting moments before the sun goes down behind the horizon; when the moon rises on the horizon, seemingly too big to be the moon at all; when the sky is a steely gray before or after a rain, and objects against it look surreal; when a rainbow stretches across the sky from one end of the earth to the other, lasting only moments, maybe even seconds. I have also been in awe in the midst of sadness or tragedy. That's when the human spirit rises to be its best, reaching out in sisterhood to hold each other up.

Awe is the gift that reminds us of the depth with which we can feel things, in a way that touches our souls.

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