Reverb 10: I wonder as I wander.

On the last day of November, I signed up to participate in #reverb10, a month-long challenge to blog every day of December based on prompts provided here. Here’s hoping it keeps me honest. Today’s prompt: December 4 Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

It snowed last night. And into the morning, into this afternoon. I awoke with that childlike anticipation, peering through my curtains and parting the blinds to see the white stuff covering the ground. Holding my breath and hoping against hope that the meteorologists hadn't been wrong. Before I drifted off to sleep again, I opened the curtains all the way and opened the blinds to let the light in, and watched the snow fall silently like potato flakes on a Hollywood sound stage. The garage behind my building is painted red; the white was even more striking in contrast.

I finally got out of bed and went out for prescriptions and groceries this afternoon. I didn't want to wait until it stopped snowing; I was actually looking forward to putting on my boots and long coat, trudging through the slush.

Just outside my back door, there's a pipe that runs the length of the neighbor's building. It was lined with long, thick icicles that could have passed for prehistoric stalactites. And out on the street, I looked up and gasped: Every inch of every tree branch was covered in an inch-thick layer of perfect powder. I never remember how cold the winter is, or how beautiful.

Instead of staring straight ahead when I run, I see the world. Greet it. I laugh out loud, beyond my iPod and earbuds, at the dog walking its owner, gnawing playfully at its leash and dragging the whole outfit homeward. I smile and say hello to the men dragging shopping carts full of old appliances, aluminum cans and busted car parts toward the metal scrapyard. I wave at babies. Peer between the warm layers of their blankets to get a glimpse of their sweet pink faces. Make funny faces and offer compliments to their parents.

A lot of people walk around content with their aloneness. Complacent, maybe. Where's the joy in wearing blinders, though? The world's a lonely place if you let it be. But the connections are there. Even if you're just sharing a thank-goodness-the-bus-is-coming with a stranger on a street corner, the connections are there.

Those little moments of wonder can happen only when my eyes are open. Not looking for anything, really, but open to finding something. It's always the little things, hard-to-miss "I spy" things. Snow coating a tree branch, a glimmer in a stranger's eye.

You can kill my appetite, Influenza, but you can't kill my wonder.