Reasons for Wonder

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

–Now that I’ve figured out how to add pictures to my blog and have the faster internet service to do so without it being like pulling teeth, I want to put a picture everytime I come by to talk to you. Even if the picture doesn’t have a thing to do with anything I’d thought about writing. It’s a nice picture though. Don’t you think? And maybe I’ll just talk about it anyway. Or about picture taking in general.

–I love taking pictures. Have ever since I was ten and got my first camera. I’m beginning to think my life began at ten. That’s when I really jumped into the joy of reading and started writing my first novel. Maybe I thought I could illustrate my stories too. Not really. I just thought it was great fun to take pictures. My first camera was a simple little camera with those round flashbulbs you had to stick on for flash pictures. I saved up my money from birthdays and farm chores to buy film, the flashbulbs, and processing. I did mostly black and white film outside because color film and flashbulbs cost too much. Those black and white photos are still crisp and clear all these years later. The film had twelve pictures.

–When you just have twelve picture opportunities, you get choosy on what you want to shoot. At least you’d think I would have, but guess what was my favorite subject? Dogs, of course. My dogs didn’t complain about smiling for the camera the way my sisters did. Now I have a digital camera with a memory card that will hold seven hundred pictures give or take a dozen. Not only that I get to review the shots right away and can hit the delete on the ones that make me look fat. Just kidding. I’m taking the pictures, so it’s everybody else who has to worry about how they look. I did mess up and get my husband a camera last Christmas and so I’m appearing in a few more pictures now. Of course my favorite subject these days is grandkids. And dogs and wildflowers and sunrises on the beach.

–The picture above was taken on a vacation trip a couple of years ago. I love walking on the beach as the sun comes up. Actually I love walking on the beach any time of the day. There’s something so peaceful about the water rushing in and out and the birds flying overhead or running along the edge of the waves to see what the waves may have brought them for breakfast. If you’ve ever walked on the beach I’ll bet you’re hearing the sound of those birds as you read this. Then another walker will come by sometimes with a toddler in tow and I get to witness the little boy or girl run toward the waves, rejoicing in the exciting wonder of the ocean. It’s a wonder some of us never lose when we get to walk on the beach at sunrise. Or in the mountains or look at wildflowers or see a new baby. So many reasons for wonder. So many reasons to take pictures.

–Hope you have reasons for wonder and that you have pictures to remind you of that wonder. Maybe I’ll come up with a picture about writing next time. But don’t you think that a writer has to develop and nourish her sense of wonder so that she can tell her stories? Or his. The Saint Augustine quote below made me think. Perhaps people are the greatest wonder of all and aren’t people what stories are mostly about?

  • “The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.” – Henry Beston
  • “Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the oceans, at the circular motions of the stars, and pass by themselves without wondering.” – Saint Augustine