“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.” – Saint Augustine
Of the World and of My Life
The original seven wonders of the world were: The Colossus of Rhodes, The Great Pyramid of Giza, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, The Lighthouse at Alexandria, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
None of these, however, made the modern Seven Wonders list, which was compiled in 2007 by over a million voters. Chosen from 200 sites, the winners were The Taj Mahal in India, Perta in Jordan, The Colosseum in Italy, Chichen Itza in Mexico, Machu Picchu in Peru, The Great Wall of China, and Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil.
After learning about the latest list, my brain took a detour. What, I wondered, were the seven wonders of my life? This is the list I came up with.
- My childhood: While, as most children do, I thought mine was horrible, I now think it was wonderful. I had freedom that kids today don’t have, and having no television or video games, I was forced to use my imagination, which today I treasure. As for the rough spots, they gave me strength to survive in the unfair world we live in.
- My children: I used to have to touch my babies to make sure they were still breathing when they slept too quietly. They were wonders then, and they and their children and their children are wonders today. I feel blessed to have five children, 15 grandchildren and three (soon-to-be four) great-grandchildren in my life.
- Being a writer: I was 25 when I knew I wanted to write as much as I wanted to breathe. Two years later, I entered a newsroom and discovered where I belonged for the next 37 years. Even after retiring, I find I still need to write the same as I need to breathe. And it’s wonderful.
- Finally having the time and the freedom to discover myself, and the discovery that even after being disappointed in love, I still had lots of love in my life and the ability to love. The latter was the surprise gift I received when love for a man failed me. Knowing I could still love made the pain worthwhile.
- The Snake River and the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon: The rapids in these two rivers gave me over 20 years of adrenalin rushes after I had turned 40. Taking up white-water rafting was the perfect hobby for me after my children had all flown the coop. I never suffered a day of empty-nest syndrome.
- Making My Wanderlust Dreams Come True: As a child, I daydreamed about traveling this country from coast to coast and border to border. And I did just that in a small RV for nine years after retiring. I also made my dream of going on an African Safari come true. I feel truly blessed I had the opportunities, but I also accept that I made it happen. Now I just need to make that Australia trip I’ve been dreaming about come true as well.
- My Zest for Life: I still wake up eager for what the day will bring. I love nature in all her many forms, I love writing, I love birds, I love art, I love people and I still love riding roller coasters and jumping out of airplanes.
These are the wonders of my life. What are yours?
Bean Pat: Digital Native http://tinyurl.com/kdwa5t9 You’re only as old as you let yourself be – at least in spirit.