Life is full of mysteries.
For instance, I walked into my kids’ bathroom the other day. I was doing some minor redecorating; painting wooden fixtures, new shower curtain. I sat on the closed toilet seat to finish painting, and it slid out from under me. The toilet seat was clearly broken near the hinges. I slid it back on, but of course I began to wonder how it happened. And when it happened.
Then I turned and noticed that the toilet paper roll was empty. Which is completely not surprising at all.
What was a little surprising was when I looked under the sink, there were no spare rolls of toilet paper.
Zero spare rolls.
How long has it been like that? What are they even using? Do I even want to know the answer to that?
Also I had noticed that the soap container was still empty from last week.
What are they washing their hands with? Are they even washing…? Forget it. I don’t want to know.
Then I begin to wonder… there might be real mysterious forces at work here in my own house. Maybe the bathroom is like Harry Potter’s Room of Requirement at Hogwarts. Refills of soap and toilet paper appear in times of need. Or maybe it’s like the bottomless sodas and fries at Red Robin, when the wait staff keeps coming back to fill you up, even though you’re in the middle of a conversation, and you didn’t even ask for more…? You just turn around and notice your glass is full.
Maybe we have a house elf. I personally would love a house elf.
Those are the easy mysteries; the ones where the answers will manifest, or else you discover they really aren’t that important at all.
What do you remember wondering about when you were a kid? Wondering about things that you might never find the answer to? Wondering about things for the simple sake of wondering? Because it was fun to let your mind wander?
I remember sitting on my swing set, staring up at the sky. Swinging and wondering, wondering and swinging. How far did those clouds above my head travel? Can my cousins in the next town over see them the same way I do? Why does cough medicine have to taste so horrible? What actually causes the feeling of butterflies in your stomach when you know there are no butterflies? What makes people fall in love? How does Santa deliver all those presents and eat all those cookies? What makes you believe in something you can’t see or touch?
When was the last time you let your mind really wander? Wondered about something you couldn’t Google? We don’t give ourselves much unstructured time.
I find there are things I can wonder about, and there are things I know, things I believe in. The things I wonder about don’t always need definite answers, but the things I believe in are the answers, and that gives me comfort.
I believe in mysteries and faith and the joy of wondering.
I believe in Santa Claus.
I believe in the power and beauty of words and stories.
I believe in chasing sunsets.
I believe in long walks without headphones, only the sound of the wind and my footsteps.
I believe in standing outside at night and listening to the snow fall.
I believe in being still.
I believe there is good in the world and that we can bring it out in each other.
We wish you much joy and wonder this holiday season and in the New Year.