My previous entry in this series of photo-meditations focused on watching. When I found this picture, it suggested a similar theme: wondering. I don’t know the man who is gazing into the sun at Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia. I’d say is was I, except I know I took the picture.

But I’ve been there. Standing alone on the rocky sDSC04628.JPGhore in Maine, or on the soft sands of Fort Lauderdale.  And maybe you have too. For now, I invite you to look at that scene, and imagine that’s you.

Can you feel the sun’s heat? Is there a breeze coming off the water? How rough is the tide as it slaps against the rocks? Are you content to be alone? Are you at peace?

Does it occur to you that the sound of the waves has been the same for eons? An eternal sound. The sky changes with the climate. The sun “moves” with the earth’s rotation, rising and setting. The ocean is calm one day, choppy the next. But that sound– gentle yesterday, more boisterous today– that sound, water against rock, never ceases. It provides the perfect soundtrack for wondering. Listen.

And wonder.

I freely admit that I cannot write without my trusty Rodale book The Synonym Finder at hand. So I looked up some synonyms for the verb “wonder” and found the usual suspects: muse, meditate, ponder, reflect…plus marvel, gape, and gawk. (And the unwelcome “cogitate.” I’d just rather not.)

There you are, standing on the solid rock, looking out at the shimmering, almost blinding, seas. And there is no rush, absolutely no hurry to leave. You can stand the breeze, and you’ve used your sunscreen, so just be for awhile. What is it you are wondering near the water’s edge?

Do you marvel at the beauty of the day? Are you pondering something, like a decision you must make, or are you musing over something someone did or said that still, well, amuses? Please…I don’t mean to pry, and I do want you to understand that this is purely a rhetorical question, but if that were you pausing for awhile under the bright sun listening to the eternal tides, what would you be thinking?

Would you agree that it is times such as these that petty problems and world affairs would be forgotten and you would be wondering about you, your life, your being, your spirit? Or, how your life relates intimately with another soul.

Maybe you would even pray. Maybe for the first time in ages. And you might wonder why.

Here’s what I think about that guy in the photo. His (and our) most profound wonderings are unspoken prayers, and the most honest ones we make.

Reflect on that for awhile.