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Simply Enchanting

I am always looking for books on WONDER. How can I learn more about this dynamic sensation that allows me to see beyond what my eyes encircle?  Recently, I came across, “Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age” by Katherine May.  (Riverhead Books, ISBN 9780593329993) This is not her first book but one that she wrote during the pandemic where she shares her experience, knowledge, and perception of WONDER  through her eyes and the eyes of her son. The book is divided into 4 sections: Earth, Water, Fire and Air.  She readily shares feelings of anxiousness, loneliness, feeling trapped and full of the social media noise. So she begins to share stories of the “magic of the world” and how to become enchanted once again. 


“Enchantment is small wonder magnified through meaning, fascination caught in the web of fable and memory.  It relies on small doses of awe, almost homeopathic: those quiet traces of fascination that are found only when we look for them.  It is this sense that we are joined together in one continuous thread of existence with the elements constituting this earth and that there is a potency trapped in this interconnection, a tingle on the border of our perception. It is the forgotten seam in our geology, the elusive particle that binds our unstable matter: the ability to sense magic in the everyday, to channel it through our minds and bodies, to be sustained by it.  

Without it, I feel I am lacking some essential nutrient, some vitamin found only when you go digging in your own soil.”  (May, 2023, p. 8, 9)


I was hooked! Her definition of enchantment is just how I feel when I experience WONDER.  I love how she describes enchantment as the “tingle on the border of our perception”.  She puts words to the sensation that I call WONDER. It’s  “the tingle… the magic…the everyday phenomena” that sustains me and allows me to see the world through an ever-changing, ever new lens.


Throughout the book, she writes about growing up and weaving the thread of this “deep engagement with the world around me, the close attention and the contact that emerges from noticing” (p. 13).  


I devoured her book while writing notes on the edgers of many pages, highlighting narratives, and filling the book with sticky tabs. (Have you ever heard of marginalia?) If you pick up this book, I hope you enjoy her stories and deep connection to the world around her.

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