This is Wonder
By Jessica Garcia-Tejeda
I believe in Wonder; that which envelops the magical moments of the everyday, the trait that defines humanity, the thread of the very fabric of the world around us. I believe in wonder as a connection between personal life and the universe itself.
The colors of the world flash by outside my window as I embark on a journey, my chin held in my hand. Anywhere, both mundane and exciting, the sense is the same: wonder at the passing settings and the countless lives witnessed in the briefest of glimpses. I am traveling to the grocery store, airport, The Pearl, the lake, Austin, computer labs at CSI. Anywhere. Buildings, each with a complex history of their own; trees, gradually shifting overseers of time; people, each with their own story; landscapes—sections of the world. The wide expanse of the Earth in all its parts, all its beauty. This is Wonder.
The day fades before me, pale blue to vibrant reds, oranges, pinks, and yellows to greens, and the land dims. My feet are rooted firmly in the soft dirt of the outdoor arena, the shadows jump like the worn buildings of a ghost town. I gaze out past the silent train tracks, swaying telephone poles, and glowing streetlights to the emerging stars beyond. So distant, the time traveler lights, relics of past eras, reminders of our insignificance. The vast universe is out there, and we are microscopic both in size and in knowledge. I hear the whish of cars speeding by on the highway below. Countless people on journeys of their own, bustling, bustling, bustling. The street lights guide their way, and life hurries on. This is Wonder.
I relax, reclined, nestled on my white covers in South Hall, a story open in my lap. A world among countless others contained within my dark wood bookshelf, contained within the crisp pages and neat lines of ink. Words. Words expanding into dancing, vibrant universes both wholly new and a reflection of our own. But there are other stories living in my bookshelf, those of the very structure of everything, or everything as far as we know. The very fabric of it, its language, pieces of its story. The story we are all a part of, the story that is my dream. My dream to add a piece to it someday. I glance at my bookshelf, my freshman Physics book calls me. Reminding me I gave up on its mysteries, and the mysteries I never even got to: the language of the universe in and outside of our home. The strange things out there, of which we know little. Black holes, quantum gravity, dark matter, neutrinos, relativity, the Big Bang, the Higgs boson, time. Why is everything the way it is? How did we get here? Why are we conscious, unique, living beings on countless little journeys of our own? Is time truly how it seems? Is anything how it seems? What more do we have to learn that we don’t even know we don’t know? What, how, when, why, where? Questions, countless numbers of them, inspired by journeys. I sift through the pages of the story and wonder. It is the same wonder as that of moments, of journeys, of life. The wonder in the world, the wonder that guides my path. This is Wonder.