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19 thoughts on “Question of the Day: Have you ever experienced awe?

  1. Steve Shanafelt

    About a decade back, I used to do a lot of cross-country car camping. It was on one of those trips — headed vaguely towards Arizona — that come to mind. It was very late at night, and I pulled into one of those tiny state park campgrounds in the middle of nowhere. It was one of those places where there’s just a good-faith dropbox for payments, no electricity or running water … just some gravel roads and a few roughly marked camping spots. It was a new moon, and by the time I got anywhere near the park it was completely dark, and I set up with only the stars and my car’s headlights to help. The next morning when I woke up, I realized that I was at the foot of one of those GIANT stone mountains you see out West, and on a perfect, warm desert day. I definitely felt in awe of nature that morning.

  2. chops

    The last time I found myself in awe of another human being was when Bernard Lagat won the 5000m USA Track and Field Championships in June. It’s an amazing finish, by an incredible athlete. 37 years old! He whoops the competition — these guys are ten years younger! If you haven’t seen it, you should. YouTube: http://youtu.be/zjNFmEcPilU

    • chops

      One time that I was in awe of nature was on an early morning hike when I reached the summit of a mountain in southern Maine. I believe it was Saddleback Mountain. Anyway, it was “first light”, and still a bit dark out, and eerily calm.

      I was planning on covering 20 miles of trail that day, and so my first thought was just to keep on moving along, but then it occurred to me that I had to stop and take it all in. It was a 360-degree view of pristine mountains and lakes as far as the eye could see. Not a sound anywhere, and just the slightest shimmering of sunrise reflecting off the most distant lakes to the east. It was truly a life-altering moment. I could not ignore it. Nature had gotten in touch with me.

    • bill smith

      Chops-I know that range. 20 miles is quite a lofty goal on that terrain.

  3. Barry Summers

    Standing on a rock outcropping during a thunderstorm in a national forest outside Denver (after the forest service stopped us on the road & said whatever we did, DON’T get out of the car & stand on an outcropping…)

    We could see the main thunderhead approaching from about ten miles away & thought we were safe, until we looked down at our sweaters & saw that the hairs were all standing straight up, & slowly turning around, like a satellite dish looking for a signal. We each heard a hissing sound, smelled something awful, and saw the color spectrum compress down into only pinks and reds. We freaked out & scampered down the rocks, thanking the heavens that we had escaped being struck by lightening by about 5 milliwatts…

  4. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Moments of awe, you ask? So I am suddenly no longer logged in? I used to have an account here, so now why should I have to log in again? And you ask would I like to register? No, not yet again, since I have done that numerous times. Click here, you ask (click where?) to create a new account? Or use the form below (where below?) without registering? Why would I want to comment without registering after all this time? So “your comment will be moderated before going online”——

    All that? Just to comment on this site? Why is it so hard? Double rainbows?

  5. Barry Summers

    Wow I’m in awe that we can now upload video responses. Not that I have the camera or the bandwidth to do it…

    Aren’t we the poor cousins, Betty?

    • Betty Cloer Wallace

      LOL. ‘Twas neither you nor I who uploaded a video response. It was MtnX.

  6. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Well, Barry, no, we are not the poor cousins. MtnX is. I could talk about dozens of awesome times that would put the double rainbows to shame, since I have lived my life that way (seeking awesomeness), but I really don’t think that is the invite here.

    • Steve Shanafelt

      It’s just an open question. If you’ve experienced awe and want to share the story, that’s all we’re asking for.

  7. Christopher C NC

    Cirque du Soleil – Pilobolus

    Humans are actually capable of expressing and connecting to the divine mystery and beauty of the universe. It gives me hope when the darker side of man garners so much more attention.

  8. Lisa Watters

    My moment of awe comes with just a little bit of guilt: About six years ago my parents invited me to join them on a cruise around the Mediterranean. The trip begin in Venice, where we stayed for two nights beforehand. On the morning of the day we were to take off my parents took a motorized waterbus with all our luggage from the hotel we had stayed in to the port on the other side of the city while I made my way through the maze of alleys and waterways that make up Venice. Several hours later I am standing with my parents on Deck 15 of the 17-story cruise ship. We have just been given glasses of champagne by one of the many roaming waiters. Italian opera is playing from the loudspeakers and as the ship pulls away we look out over this beautiful and ancient city. In that moment I was in awe.
    The guilt plays in because Venice is a city forever in danger of sinking back into the sea and 17-story cruise ships chugging in and and out of its shallow port probably doesn’t help matters much. But if I hadn’t gone my folks would have just invited someone else and I’m truly grateful I experienced that moment.

  9. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Well, Jeff, here are a few of the many experiences that have left me in awe for various reasons

    • Jeff Fobes

      It’s my turn to be awed by your magnificent response. Thank you.

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