Ferdinand and the Enchantment of Opening to Awe

Posted on July 10, 2012

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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?