Wonder is respect for life… from William Steig’s Caldecott speech, 1970.
These words act as a PAUSE sign for me. They simultaneously make me want to reach up into the stars… and gather into my arms the simplicity of the day-to-day. How do we do this, with only one set of arms and hands?
Perhaps that is part of WONDER: believing this is entirely possible, and using our minds to do what our hands can’t.
Very young children know about this wonder. Then we—almost all—grow out and away from it. Reclaiming it has to be a conscious act. Which is why I consider these words at the outset of a new writing project, and then again and again, throughout.
Last night, I opened “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” and for the first time in too long, read it with my now 10 year old son. Never too old for a picturebook. Never too old to wonder. If the planet and our existence requires more respect, we need to wonder to a proportionate degree. Maybe even more!