Today we have a sneak peek from author Nigel Hey’s memoir: Wonderment.
Wonderment keeps the action going from the author’s childhood nightmares to the suspense of a brush with death in the neurology unit of a London hospital. Sometimes funny, sometimes thoughtful, this is the first-person life history of a writer who was born with a love of adventure, travel, people, and the mystery of who we are and why – laced with the humor, romance, family lore and drama that anchors a life well lived. He masters the burden of ill health and gradually, to his surprise, discovers his own spirituality.
And now, an excerpt from Wonderment…
From Chapter 24
Dusk, driving westward and down into the darkening valley of the Rio Grande, struck by the sight of ancient volcanoes in near-silhouette, a dozen miles across the valley, lighted only by a palette of earth colors against a turquoise sky and a few silky strands of pinkish cloud. I hold the wonder close, watching without thought until the colors melt away. Then I thank something far beyond my understanding for this moment, and for the gift of knowing its wonder.
The joy of natural beauty is not new to me. But this particular view, descending into the valley with the mountains at my back, is my favorite, the most precious. It seems only to happen at special times, when the light is just right, a few minutes after I turn westward from the freeway. It prompts me to reach for my camera, but I know this would be foolishness, for no camera could catch the visual magic. Rumi said, “No metaphor can say this, but I can’t help pointing to the beauty.”
The experience stayed with me until I reached home. When I settled into my patio chair I realized that my set of mind was such that I could begin a game I play with myself, almost an actualized dream of flying that was controlled and accessible at my whim.
When I transport myself into a leaf, dancing on the top of that elm tree, and move with it in the wind, or when I melt into that sun-warmed, rain-washed, water-rounded chunk of granite, something wonderful happens. The ego disappears! and suddenly in this wedding with natural things there is no separation in life or death. I wonder whether some people will encounter something similar only to have it fly away frightened before they are fully aware of it.. Or could something inside us dismiss it automatically, as something foreign to our culture? Is it something that comes with age? Is it a passing peculiarity of the mind? No, I have known companionship with my non-human surroundings since my early years. There is no way I can explain it, except to say that it is a wonderful thing.