How long has it been since you had a moment, an encounter, with something so grand, it filled you with sudden awe, it stopped your breath? If that moment feels like it was years ago, maybe back to your childhood, then ask yourself – will I ever feel that again?
Perhaps it is part of aging or perhaps our neurons have been so throttled by images and pseudo-experiences of media, that we may never again feel that sense of wonder. That would be truly sad. Has the constant onslaught of media vaccinated us against the true experience of majesty?
Or perhaps, we just need to be more intentional and alert. We need to take the time and energy, to take the hike, to take the days and go. Find it. Atop Crested Butte, a mountain in Colorado, there is a plaque with a quote, “If you don’t climb the mountain, you can’t see the view.” (Chris Mikesell)
Here we post a picture of the view. It isn’t the real view, just a picture of it, but maybe it can serve as a reminder or encouragement to go make the climb if you can, while you’re still alive enough to create the memory of your own direct encounter.
Another strategy to reconnect with your sense of awe is to find a wonder-consultant. A wonder-consultant typically has a single digit age and can be rather exhausting and expensive but they’re well worth it. Go find one and try to notice the world afresh through their eyes.
This is not just good advice, it is vital. When we lose our sense of awe, when we no longer encounter the majestic, we also lose our sense of place. We lose our perspective of ourselves in relation to the majestic, begin fooling ourselves, begin acting like we are the mountains. Genuine encounters with majesty nurture humility – and that’s a good thing despite its declining popularity. Humility, it is said, is the garden of all virtue and, one might add, the canvas of other-centered life.