The Ecology of Wonder #1

The Ecology of Wonder #1

Swimming to the edge of the pool, I lifted my body out and got ready to dive again.  My brother, standing at the grill, laughed at me and said, “you were made for this.  You’d stay in the water all day if you could.”  I smiled back and dove in again, thinking as the water rushed over my skin, that’s a great compliment.  Water is life, and if I am made for water, I am made for life.

My teacher, Suzanne Fortier, often tells her students, get more animal on me.  She sees how many of us, when assembling our domestic urban lives have given up our instincts, our sensory guidelines to navigating life.  We bonded six years ago around our mutual embrace of the feral nature and our animal selves.  She doesn’t say to me, get more animal.  Instead she says, your challenge is integrating your wild self with a human society. 

After a full afternoon of diving in the pool, chasing Juno, my brother’s playful boxer, and relishing the sun of a summer beginning in So-Cal, Ben and I sit down to enjoy shrimp and caribou from the grill.  I had been running around like a joyful young child all day.  My body was peaceful from exertion, my mind clear from laughter and freedom.  Though he teases me, my brother holds the kind of safety for me to be my childlike self.  I am 30 years old, but my soul shines like the wonder in a toddler’s eyes.

“I think I’m going to be a good mom someday,” I say to him.  “I’ve kept the spirit of the child alive in me.”

The Ecology of Wonder


the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings

wonder –

a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable


In this series I explore connecting curiosity, beauty, and personal freedom to a just and thriving planet.

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