Writing prompt: sense of wonder


2000 year old Antarctic beech

2000 year old Antarctic beech

From the moment we learned of  these two thousand year old Antarctic beech trees at Springbrook National Park, Queensland, my hubby, Bruce and I decided it would be good for us to see them ourselves. They day we chose for our adventure was raining, windy and 5°C on the mountain, not freezing, but cold enough. We ate our picnic lunch of homemade Moroccan chicken and coffee in the car before braving the frigidity of the mountain air. Though only three hundred metres from the car park, the trek down to the trees was like tramping through an icefield. We were cold, wet and uncomfortable and wondering why it was so important to see these trees. I had been anticipating seeing the trees for over a week, so I was dismayed when I didn’t receive the expected pop that accompanies the experience of being in the presence of something so ancient and wonderful. I was overwhelmed, but it was with a sense of despair. These three elderly forest dwellers, along with a few younger ones nearby, were all that remained of what must have once been a magnificent place. Others like them have been carted away through the centuries to become cabinets or simply to make room for cattle, crops and families. Shivering in the rain I couldn’t escape the sense that they represented a dying world, that this was the final stronghold for their kind. But there was hope there too. Some compassionate soul found them and appreciated their importance, understood that they were irreplaceable. The ancient beeches would have a home for as long as there were people to wonder at them. That was when the pop came. As the forest around them shifted, and contracted, as countless animals made homes among their roots and boughs, these giants held fast to the soil, growing silent and unhurried. I wished them a continued silent life and was gratified that at least something remained from the era before European contact. Death will come to these trees, but with hope and a little human compassion, it will be a natural one well beyond my lifetime.

Describe a moment when you experienced an unexpected sense of wonder.

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About Sharon

Writer, bibliophile, dreamer and student of everything
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5 Responses to Writing prompt: sense of wonder

  1. Super great article! Honest!

  2. drtombibey says:

    Oops. I just realized you said unexpected. Of course we knew they were on the way, but I was unprepared for the overwhelming sense of wonder.

    Dr. B

  3. drtombibey says:

    Ms. Sharon,

    I love the trees, and anything timeless for that matter.

    My son was our first born. I was an intern at the time. I had delivered babies, but this was different.

    When he was born I let his mama hold him first. Then I cradled him in my arms and took him all over the hospital to show him off.

    It was against the rules, and I got in some trouble, but until my daughter came along that was the greatest sense of wonder I had ever experienced. That day was no greater than the one with my boy, but it was his equal for sure.

    Dr. B

    • Dr B
      I have yet to experience this kind of sense of wonder. My cousin recently had a son and was the first to hold him. He said they bonded in those first minutes and it was like nothing he’d experienced before. My mother also says that she felt it too when her children were born. Each time it was a different magic, but equally powerful.

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