Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.
~ E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

I came across this earlier this week, and the simplicity of the reminder struck my heart. You see, with everything that has happened in the last months—San Bernardino, Paris, Beirut, Ferguson—I’ve been discouraged. I have been thinking about what our world has come to. How can we treat each other this way? Are we losing our humane-ness? It’s not unusual for me to listen to the evening news and simply want to cry for what we are becoming.

But then this gentle reminder comes along to make me stop to re-evaluate my view. It has made me hope, again, that we are not all defined by the irrational acts of a few. It has made me open my eyes to the wonder of the everyday mundane things that I have been taking for granted. What is the wonder I can see?

In Charlotte’s Web, a pig named Wilbur is saved from the usual fate of pigs by a web-spinning wonder of a spider, Charlotte. Charlotte weaves her webs in the corner of Wilbur’s pigpen, including such words as “radiant” and “terrific.” As wondrous as the words in the web are, another character in the story points out that a spider’s web, in itself, is the true wonder. How do spiders know how to spin webs?


On my dining room table sits a Christmas cactus, which was started as a slip taken from a plant that has been in the Hoese family for three generations. I’ve had cacti in the past, but I’ve never had one bloom in my house. Perhaps I just never acquired the knack for caring and coaxing the plant to bloom. But this morning one of the buds on the plants had fully opened to show a beautiful, deep pink flower.

A little bit of wonder, showing up right in my own home. For today, that is wondrous enough for me.