The Awe of New Friday Five

I have a little story to tell. Earlier this spring, my husband won three tickets to a concert presented by the symphony orchestra of a nearby city–featuring Mozart’s Requiem. We debated for a few days about taking Trinity, our four-year old granddaughter, to such an adult event. In the end we decided to give it a try. After all, the tickets were free, so we didn’t have a great deal to lose if we had to leave. (There she is in the picture, all dressed up and ready to go hear, “my Mozart!”) You may wonder why we would consider taking a preschooler to the symphony, but this child loves Mozart and listens to a CD nearly every night at bedtime. Once I tried to sneak a CD of Bach in, and she cried, saying, “Grandma, that is NOT Mozart.”

She was hopping with excitement, but we gave her lots of coaching, and when we arrived she gazed about with wonder at the lovely venue, and when the orchestra began to tune up she sat up straight and gazed, enraptured, with her mouth literally open. It was pure delight to watch her enjoying brand-new sights, sounds and surroundings.

This experience led me to remembering times of discovery, of new experiences. Some were my own experiences and some were remembered from my children, or those of others. Share with us today about five memorable moments of insight, discovery, awareness–from childhood or later, something you experienced or something you shared with someone else.

A. Two from growing up
1. Giving a ten minute personal experience speech in my senior year required public school speech class about the day I met the Queen of England…and having the entire class buy it all. The teacher knew ahead of time that I was making it up, but the class–a large group of whom had teased me steadily over the years–actually believed me. Talk about empowering! My words could convince! I could speak and people would attend to what I had to say! It gave me the courage and desire to pursue the skill of oratory and it has been a gift, joy, and grand delight ever since.
2. Staying in the basement while my Dad was working there was often an insightful lesson of one sort or another…There’s understanding about sound waves by putting my hands on speakers while he played the Who and radio waves by trying to tune in to the station furthest away…and who could forget lighting a leaf on fire (under controlled circumstances, naturally) with a magnifying glass and knowing you were concentrating sunshine?

B. Moments of cooking can render me stunned with awe… not because the result is any great accomplishment, but because it really did work! The science of it fascinates me…emulsions? Totally cool. Caramelizing? Slick. The reaction of flavors one with another yielding something else all together? WOW. Would that I could witness the molecular changes… So very amazing.

C. Watching my students think something or come to know a concept for the first time is a privilege that makes me nearly burst with joy. That moment of “getting it” and you KNOW that YES! Now they have a new construct, a new tool, a new way of thinking or being that will help them understand or enjoy or change or think about what they encounter. Awesome…

D. Receiving a massage for the first time…allowing the vulnerability of that encounter… absolutely life changing…

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Sharon says:

    \”The Awe of New\” indeed! Cooking does that to me, too. Amazing, isn't it? I haven't met the Queen, but I did get close enough to take a pic one time. I enjoyed reading these.


  2. Mary Beth says:

    Oh, splendid! Public speaking class was transformative for me, as well.


  3. Kathy says:

    I love your blog! Wish I could subscribe to it here rather than through a feed. If you ever make that available, please let me know!


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