Somewhere in the middle of a normal day, amidst dirty dishes and laundry on the line, this happened. I don’t know when. Since planting these seeds almost three weeks ago, I’ve checked them compulsively. Nothing ever happened. Like a character in a parable, my faith wavered. And then, in the middle of wiping off the table, I happened to glance at the terra cotta pot supposedly cradling my seeds… and there it was. Someone less familiar with the terrain of that pot would not have noticed it. All bent double, the bend barely visible above the dirt. But to me, who had studied this pot for days for any sign to bolster my flat faith, the effervescent green was as arresting as a soda can exploding in my hand.
I watched throughout the day as the fetal sprout slowly stretched and straightened. I also began to notice others bending through the surface. There are four now altogether. Such abundance to someone who despaired of having any seedlings just hours ago.
It is exactly this kind of event that rouses me to continue stalking wonder. It reminds me that while I go about my routine of scrubbing sticky spots off the table and chopping onions, a ritual of a different kind is also in progress. And in the moment that our two quotidians meet, the whole rest of the world becomes wonder-full. That little shoot, like a good fairy tale, reminds that there is more going on in my world than me. I’m suddenly conscious of the earthworms deep under my feet as I hang laundry to dry. Of the yeasts that are feeding on the flour and water of my bread dough and making it rise. Of the microbes that are even now turning those onion peels into compost. Of all the hundreds and thousands of seeds that nobody planted that are germinating right along with my pampered seedling.
What makes me wonder most, however, is that this is not extraordinary. It’s not a once in a lifetime event, like seeing Halley’s Comet. You don’t have to be in the right place at the right time in order to experience it. It’s happening all the time, for anyone to see. Whether your routine involves an early morning shower and a commute or slippers and a pairing knife, there is another ancient routine progressing right alongside yours. The wonder comes in both slowing your routine enough to notice the other, and then continuing your routine heartened by having a steady companion on your way.