Ferdinand and the Enchantment of Opening to Awe

The Story of Ferdinand
The Story of Ferdinand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ferdinand ran to the middle of the ring and everyone shouted and clapped because they thought he was going to fight fiercely and butt and snort and stick his horns around.  But not Ferdinand.  When he got to the middle of ring  he saw the flowers in all the lovely ladies’ hair and he just sat down quietly and smelled.  He wouldn’t fight and be fierce no matter what they did.  He just sat and smelled.  And the Banderilleros were mad and the Picadores were madder and the Matador was so mad he cried because he couldn’t show off with his cape and sword.  So they had to take Ferdinand home.  And for all I know he is sitting there still, under his favorite cork tree, smelling the flowers just quietly.  He is very happy.

Excerpt from The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf

The Story of Ferdinand was my favorite book when I was a little girl.  I cherished the story of the bull who loved flowers and refused to fight.  This is a powerful story because it reminds us that there is as an enchantment that comes from staying opening to our natural awe, which gives us life and often protects us in dangerous situations.

Many of us have heard that if we want to be happy, it’s good to spend some time every day being grateful. An associated practice that increases the happiness and enchantment level of our lives is opening up to this natural power for awe.

The gift of experiencing some kind of difficulty in life is that sometimes the loss or removal of something that we once took for granted or the challenge of dealing with the world as it is brings us the opportunity to re-discover our power for awe in new ways.

Right now, my children and I are in awe of the medicine that has removed most of the tremors from our little dog.  She can now crawl across the floor after lying almost lifeless for several days fills us with awe.  She is not necessarily cured of her illness, but even moments of the freedom to enjoy her little life are precious to us.

Little children often are wiser with this aspect of enchantment.

Lilium bulbiferum in habitat, Tyrol, Austria
Lilium bulbiferum in habitat, Tyrol, Austria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we grow older we forget what it was like to be a small child and filled with awe at the glories of the world around us.We forget that it is an entirely appropriate response to giggle and become amazed over the simplest things like the ability to blow a bubble or snap our fingers or smell the scent of a beautiful blooming flower.

Jesus seemed to be referring to this innocent sense of awe and trust in life when he said to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must be like little children.

If you’re going through a tough time in your life or even if everything is better than you could have ever hoped, see if you can discover that part of you that holds your natural awe of the magic of life.

A daily dose of opening up to awe is another way to discover enchantment in whatever season of life you may now be passing through.

As you go through your day, find one or many things that bring you a sense of delight and awe.  Then for at least five minutes allow yourself to be completely immersed in your own innate sense of wonder and magic.  Awe is always there waiting for you to open your eyes and breathe in the beauty of your life.

What fills you with awe today?

13 thoughts on “Ferdinand and the Enchantment of Opening to Awe”

  1. I really love the focus of today’s post–on the experience of awe and wonder, which you remind us are possible to cultivate. I believe that you have properly understood the simile that Jesus used to teach the nature of Happiness, which he called “Heaven”

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. Awe and wonder are states of being that we forget that we can create every day. It’s easy to forget this, which is why I have a stepping stone in my garden with the word Wonder engraved in it, to remind myself what makes life, well, wonderful. :)

  2. Awesome post!! I also loved, loved “The Story of Ferdinand.” The cover is fantastic, eh? I’m still drawn to it. Writer Munro Leaf and illustrator Robert Lawson were so talented. I’m now off to dig up my copy. It was a gift from my grandmother. Enjoy the day!! Theadora (Sending positive thoughts to little doggie!)

  3. Theadora, thank you so much. Ferdinand is such a beautiful gift to receive from your grandmother. I somewhat recently re-discovered the worn out copy that my mother used to read to me when I was a little girl. It’s a precious book to me, and you’re right that a big part of its charm comes from the Lawson illustrations that accompany the writing.
    Ginger also thanks you so much for your positive thoughts!

  4. I have forgotten about the story of Ferdinand! I need to read it to my grandchildren, and I’ll be thinking also of what it represents to me! I think that my granddaughters help me stay more in tune with enchantment, specifically because as you say, children do it more easily! I see that i them and it’s at times infectious! I’m also so glad that Ginger is doing better! What a gift! Debra

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