Dahlia and the Gift of Wonder

Dahlia and Bud

Dahlia and Bud © 2012 Bo Mackison

Wonder is the heaviest element on the periodic table. Even a tiny fleck of it stops time. ~ Diane Ackerman

Have you ever been walking in a garden, or a woods, or a desert – anywhere, really, surrounded by the natural world – and suddenly stopped, unable to take another step until you took the time to absorb the many sensations of that exact place?

That sudden stop – it happens to me frequently. Even when I hurry myself along, reminding myself that I only have time for a twenty-minute walk, I am unable to push through, to ignore. I simply must stop.

To do what? Gaze with wonder at a flower, or the pattern and colors of bark on a tree, or the lapping of the waves of Lake Michigan, or the intricate web of a spider…

Wonder. Yes. For me, wonder is a definite time stopper.

What a gift that is – priceless – the ability to totally focus on one small part of the world, on one small part of nature. To see it, truly see it. The dahlia petals, each in place, each twisted into a slightly asymmetrical cone, each petal packed tighter as the rows get closer to the center.

And the pattern on each petal?  Not a single one the same. They are like a snowflake or a fingerprint – each one unique. So much to look at, to explore with my senses. I hold onto these memories for another time, when I am without a flower or a garden or perhaps without any time or place for a walk.

Wonder stops time for me. Does it stop time for you?


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. Bo has learned one thing from ‘walking with wonder’ – if she wants to walk for exercise she either needs to wear blinders, walk with a friend, or walk inside where she can ignore the distractions!

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. What a gift that is indeed.

    Those times when I have let myself slow right down… they will stay with me forever, embedded in my remembrance, woven into my heart.

  2. Yes indeed.

  3. Hi Bo…love your blog. I am the happy recipient of one of your ‘liberated’ art postcards. It will be a great addition to my collection. I’m a great believer in NEVER losing that sense of wonder.

  4. It does!

  5. Joanne Keevers says:

    Oh yes Bo, and at those times, time stands still and nothing else matters. Bliss! 🙂

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