This is a not-so fabulous picture of a fraction of the exterior structure to climb and explore at the City Museum (and yes, that is an actual airplane–go ahead, check out their website, they have way better pictures than I do) in St. Louis, MO. I visited City Museum for the first time a few weeks ago, and I have struggled to describe it ever since. The best description that I’ve come up with is this: part architectural salvage, part art project, part jungle gym, part museum complete with bug specimens, part maze, part full-size Chutes & Ladders game–all amazing. I heard another visitor say, “Every time I come here, I can’t even believe that something like this exists.”
Since my visit, I haven’t been able to shake the sense of wonder that City Museum inspires. Wonder at the creative vision to begin such a place initially. Wonder at the vast amounts of time that have been invested in every corner of the space. Wonder at the improbability of the whole thing.
That has served as a reminder to me that we need to be in touch with our sense of wonder. Between the day-to-day requirements of getting through life, and the barrage of upsetting or infuriating news that we are bombarded with, it is easy to begin to feel jaded, bored, or hopeless.
Places like the City Museum, spaces where a wild, wacky, creative, larger-than-life spirit has been given free reign, function a lot like the mountains or the ocean do for me: as “wonder generators.” After I’ve been in contact with these kinds of spaces, I notice that I feel re-energized and more ready to re-engage with my daily tasks. Wonder seems to be an antidote to the anxiety and other struggles that accumulate in my daily life.
So, this week, I’m inviting you to find a “wonder-generator” of your own. If you can’t work in a trip to St. Louis, then maybe your local art gallery or city park will do the trick.
If you feel inspired to share your “wonder-generators” in the comments, you will be welcome. If you have lost touch with your sense of wonder and aren’t sure how to get it back, feel free to contact me directly for support.