“You’ll believe it,” explained squirrel, “when you see it.”
“No,” sparrow replied, “I’ll see it when I believe it.”
Mobile: Level Change II, in situ in Switzerland
How many times, as an adult, have you heard the line, “You won’t believe this,” and yet you do. You see the thing, you hear the thing, you experience the thing, and it’s believable. Totally believable. No magic. No zing. No neural fireworks.
How’s that happen? Where does that child-like wonder go?
I heard a talk once on the topic of awe. The speaker described the common facial expressions we as humans make in the presence of the truly awe-some. And how if we want to invite awe in, we only need to begin by making those expressions.
I found myself walking around the next day trying this idea on. Coming upon a tall tree or big cloud, I’d open my eyes and mouth wide, take a step back, do that double-take thing, and inhale deeply. Waiting for it … waiting for it … still waiting for it. Nothing.
One of my customers sent me this picture today to show me where they’d hung their mobile. They live in Switzerland.
Those ridiculously high mountain trails that cling to impossible heights under even taller peaks soaring beyond even the highest high clouds. This is the stuff of awe, right? Yes-and.
Yes-and because, while Switzerland happens to be one of my favorite places on earth, today I was reacting to light in shadow, music in movement, an adjustable stool, a duster, sheet music – all the many stories layered into this one photo.
I’m reminded of a quote by Ralph Hodgson, “Some things have to be believed to be seen.” What occurs to me is that perhaps awe is a way of believing—in possibility, in beauty, in love—that allows for the stories to emerge. The magic to return. The fireworks to ignite. And this makes me smile because this way of being is available to us every single day.
What’s the one thing you need to believe about yourself this week to be reminded of what an awe-inspiring individual you are?