“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of our desire to understand.”
― Neil Armstrong

Every time I take Irida’s kids to Pulaski Park, Jasmin needs to spend time at the “water mountain” (fountain), playing in the water. Even now that it is cold and snowy, she examines it, exploring the dynamics of water and ice. This feature of the park that I never even noticed is actually a scientific lab from her perspective, a place to research the mystery of water. One of the many things that I love about working with young people is getting to witness and -- when I am lucky -- participate in their sense of wonder. Kids remind me that we are surrounded by beauty and mystery.Snowflake

As a family, you can take time this month to celebrate mystery together through experiences in the natural world and practices of slowing down. A walk in the woods is a great lab for exploring mystery and we are lucky to be surrounded with woods walks that are good for children of all abilities. I have found that asking questions is a helpful way to elicit the sense of wonder. “I wonder who made these tracks in the snow? Why is this stream frozen in some places and not others? Why does everything get so quiet after a snowfall?” Even though a lot of natural observations can be explained, leaving them in the realm of mystery helps me to appreciate them more. On December 18, you can check out the Geminid meteor shower. Some shooting stars associated with the shower should be visible from December 7 through 16.

A lot of people feel very busy and stressed out during this time of year. See if you can carve out some time to slow down, do less, and celebrate the mystery around you.