The sea receded, baring the flaky gray shale to eons of wind and rain and erosion. The glaciers made their stately cruises south then north, scouring the earth and rock, gouging out long, thin lakes, like gangly appendages.
A piece of the slate chipped off its source, tumbled down a gorged riverbed and into Cayuga Lake, where waves rounded its edges. The obstinate waves kept pushing, pushing until the stone reached the rock-strewn shore. There I admired its flatness and cameo-like shape and took it home to cover its contours with wool. I imagined an ancient sea plant drifting in the warm, shallow sea, at the end of its days coming to rest on the sea floor and imprinting its form on stone. A luxurious silk-wool blend yarn outlines the curving forms of fossil life on the covered Fossil Stone.
Now let's skip across time and continent to Europe, its northern Germanic tribes to be precise, during the early days of the so-called Dark Ages. There they coined the term wundran, to capture their sense of astonishment at the magic they saw in the world around them: perhaps the dragon prows of their strong-hulled ships slicing through the white-capped North Sea; white cliffs formed by eons of tiny sea animals a shimmer on Briton's distant shore.
The Scandinavian notion of appreciating the world's marvels came down through the ages to the English language, to our sense of wonder.
And that's the perspective with which I'd like to view the world around me every day--that each morning brings with it a newness, a sense of discovery, of magic and astonishment in the mundane details: the thin winter sun filtering through the sliding glass doors and glowing on my son's bent head; the lacy filigree of dead vegetation poking through a snowbank on the side of a country road; silk gliding through wool as it forms a smooth curve along a stone's contour.
If you'd like to have your own gentle reminder to notice the wonder in each day, consider purchasing the Wonder Stone pictured above. It is available, as well as the Fossil Stone, through the Haiti by Hand Etsy shop. Sale proceeds directly benefit a women's artisan group in Despinos, Haiti.