Looking back on my trips reminds me of the wonder I found there. It reminds me as well that wonder lies all around us. It reminds me that God has surprises – good ones – stored up for us each day if we have the eyes to see them.
My family and I took a trip two summers ago to Nova Scotia, Canada. One of the places we visited was outside of Sydney, at the restored fortress of Louisbourg. This is like the Canadian version of Williamsburg, VA, an entire 18th century town recreated for visitors complete with “actors” playing the various roles there: blacksmith, soldiers and officers, clerks, housekeepers…basically everyone who lived and worked in this fort several hundred years ago.
Louisburg isn’t the obvious choice for a place to experience wonder. After all, it’s a reenactment. But who says wonder has to be “authentic?” Ask any kid about Disney World and they’ll tell you it has more wonder per square inch than Mickey Mouse has fingers.
Over the next several entries, I’ll look at different aspects of wonder I discovered there by looking back on the trip.
Let’s start with a less-obvious one: Discovering wonder that you didn’t notice at the time.
In the above photo of a turkey at the fort, I obviously was aware of the bird when I was there. But I didn’t really see it. Only in looking at my photos in hindsight did I appreciate the details in the bird’s face or the myriad colors – almost iridescent in their hues – in the feathers.
I could go online and find hundreds of photos of turkeys but they wouldn’t have the same effect on me. This one is special because I was there. I heard it. I saw it. I even thought it was cool enough at the time to warrant a photograph.
You may look at the photo and think, “Well, OK, that’s an interesting bird” or “It would look better on my Thanksgiving table.” But the physicality of travel and the memory of all that happened that day combine with the present review of the photo and make me think, “Wow! That’s amazing.”
Try it yourself. Go through photos of a past trip not to reminisce about the journey but to intentionally hunt for hidden wonder. You may find it in the oddest of places.
Even in ones you might otherwise think of as just a turkey.