Before this morning, I’d never heard of Diane Ackerman, who, according to Wiki, “is an American poet, essayist, and naturalist known for her wide-ranging curiosity and poetic explorations of the natural world.”
However, while poking around the interweb on the subject of wonder, I came across this little golden nugget of nuggetness:
“Wonder is the heaviest element on the periodic table. Even a tiny fleck of it stops time.”
I like prose that hits the mark in as few words as possible, a rule I’m constantly reminded I break all the time. Nonetheless, I enjoy reading it from others.
With today’s Quote of the Day, something about its simplicity caught my attention and I felt compelled to jot it down. Philosophers have long talked about the critical difference between questioning and having a sense of wonder and I have to agree. It’s that small yet significant variance in meaning – one for answers to the unknown, one for maintaining astonishment at the world around you – that I believe is a defining trait to a healthy, vibrant, creative mind.
I suppose that when many of us think of “wonder” we think of things like the miracle of birth, the gift of love, the pleasant shock of the unexpected, or perhaps just a gargantuan object in nature like Everest or the Grand Canyon. Yet what I like about Ackerman’s quote is that she mentions how “even a tiny fleck of it stops time.”
So true. Who was it that first said God is in the small things? Anyway. Doesn’t matter. Someone long, long ago realized this and we’re still reveling in its meaning today, as I am with Diane Ackerman’s quote.