How to Unearth the Joys of Wonder, Awe and Epiphany
When I was about seven, I found fragments of a buried relic in our front garden. Outdoors was my favourite place to be. Few things could fascinate me as much as an army of ants marching up a skyscraper-scale plant stem, or a butterfly painted in impossible colours. The garden was the realm of foxes, mice, treehouses and icicles. It was magic.
My big discovery began with a single piece of porcelain under the bushes. It was just the tiniest chip of potential, but I knew immediately that I’d struck on something important. So, I searched for more. I dug with my bare hands for hours, hungrily turning up piece after piece as the evening light faded.
It was winter at the time. The ground was hard and my fingers numb but I persisted, stacking the broken bits in a pile so that I’d be able to put it all back together in the morning.
When I was called in for the night, I was met by a look of horror on my mum’s face. I had no idea that I’d hurt myself amid all the excitement, but with the lights on I could see that my hands were bleeding. It was worth it though. Anything would be for hidden treasure.
That night, rather than fall asleep, I drifted into a state of wonder. My little mind churned up a kaleidoscope of possibilities, all cobbled together from the cartoons I’d watched and the books I’d been read. Maybe I’d found a priceless antique that would make my family rich. Or, even better, maybe it was something magical; something a genie might emerge from, or that could enable me to cast spells.
Daylight couldn’t come quickly enough.
As soon as I woke up, I threw my wellies on and ran to the bottom of the garden to continue with my mission. Then, there it was — in all its dewy morning glory — the broken pieces of an old kitchen sink.
Now, this might sound like an anticlimax to you but it didn’t feel like one to me. This was my discovery. I was just as excited about the sink as I had been about the priceless artefact I’d fallen asleep imagining. Where did it come from? Who put it in the…