Astonishment:to strike with sudden and usually great wonder or surprise.
I didn’t get to make a list of moments of astonishment like I suggested in the writing prompt for day 1 of the women’s history month writing prompt series because a perfect moment of astonishment seemed to be brought to life simply because I noted the need to be astonished.
Here is what happened: at the same time as I was busily making a graphic for the prompt, my friend Faith sent me a message saying she had a book she wanted to give me. “The Bone People” by Keri Hume. It was published in 1986 when I was an optimistic newlywed and never believed my life would become overly bothersome or filled with grief.
My friend said she had intended to read the book, described on Amazon as “a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where indigenous and European New Zealand meet, clash, and sometimes merge.” As she held it in her hands, though, she had an unexplainable urge to give it to me.
When Faith arrived shortly later with not only “The Bone People” in her hands but several others tied with a purple and white ribbon, I assured her of my gratitude and my understanding that sometimes intuition rises fiercely and we are, at all times, to listen closely and follow it’s call as odd as it may seem to others.
I am one who doesn’t expect gifts.
Having her deliver an absolutely perfect gift to me was phenomenal, slightly confusing and absolutely wonderful. I am finishing my next fiction book and then, I will read this one, which she also doesn’t want back. “Use it to make black out poetry, or whatever you want with it. It is yours, not mine,” Faith said.
What would the world be like if it wasn’t so astonishing to receive an unexpected gift that was a perfect reflection of who you are, even to someone you are not particularly close to?
What would the world be like if this was completely ordinary – not to the point where we feel entitled to surprise gifts from friends, but it was like the expectation of seeing the crossing guard at intersections around an elementary school or the ubiquitous question of whether we would wear a sweater when the weather started to get cold?
This morning I had a humorous interaction that in the past might have upset me. Today, it simply made me laugh.
Not being hurt by someone else brushing me off like a piece of lint was a surprise, even more to retell the story and be compelled to laugh instead of being offended. Yes, this is definitely astonishing.
Over the next several days I will remain open to more astonishment.
I will continue to be grateful for the moments of awe and wonder – even at simple things – and invite surprising synchronicities to greet me as they will.
What has astonished you recently?
I encourage you to check out the prompt and use it to create. If you do, please come back and comment here so I may see what this astonishment inspired in you.
This post is a part of the Women’s History Month Writing Quotes & Prompts series from Julie JordanScott, the Creative Life Midwife, and her Word-Love Writing Community you may join for free on Facebook. During March, there will be daily discussions on the quotes and prompts we present here, too. Join the conversation and improve your writing at the same time!