|It’s finally summer, and it feels so good, doesn’t it? I call it the wonder of summer.
In my neck of the woods, all of nature is stunningly beautiful; the birds are both incredibly varied and noisy, the beautiful insects have landed, the outdoor concerts have begun, and every person we bump into has a slight sheen of Canadian humidity on them.
The wonder of summer massively outshines the 24-hour news mess that shares everything going wrong in the world and the social media feeds forever reminding us of what we are not doing or accomplishing.
What do you mean you haven’t really noticed the wonder of summer?
On an intuitive level, we understand that doom scrolling and social media aren’t great for our mental health, don’t we? Yet so many of us, our friends, and our family have difficulty stopping.
I learned of a possible antidote the other day. It’s pretty simple.
In Japan, mid-June marks the beginning of a micro season, which is directly translated as ‘rotten grass becomes fireflies.’ It marks the brief period after spring has done much of its growing and shedding when that flurry of activity has slowed down and is replaced with peace and quiet.
Because unlike the buzzing of bees or the constant croaking of frogs, have you ever noticed that fireflies are exceptionally quiet despite the attention they get? They’re silent little wonders.
During this time in Japan, you will see many ads for “firefly sightseeing.” Similar to how one might go on a whale or dolphin watching trip, or even a forest bathing excursion, people in Japan are encouraged to visit places with many fireflies– a relatively popular sightseeing phenomenon.
You may wonder why fireflies are so popular there. Most adults may not care, but ask any child, and you will quickly understand. Fireflies evoke a sense of wonder.
What makes them glow? Where did it go? How many are out there?
The Japanese have learned how to observe them quietly as they do their little dance in the dark. In other words, the Japanese have learned how to lean into the concept of wonder.
The Wonder of Wonder
There are so many times in our lives when it is vital to our own health and well-being to lean into the curious, almost child-like mindset. I call that leaning in the first wonder piece. Doing so allows us to see the world as a place of possibility and incredible phenomena, not chaos or destruction.
We find beauty, joy, and, ultimately, peace in this mindset. Absolutely nothing about the world is different. Yet it feels completely different when we lean into the action and the feelings of wonder.
If you or someone you know has been doom scrolling the news a little too hard, spending a bit too much time on social media, or otherwise spending too much time on a screen, try this instead.
Identify something that sparks that sense of wonder in you. Maybe you have a hobby you haven’t been making time for, an event you’ve been wanting to attend, or something as simple as watching a few fireflies (butterflies, birds, or even insects).
The point I want to share today is to ask you to make time for wonder in your life. Because you never know what shifts in perspective you may uncover.