I recently pedaled up to Alpine Lake and had the foresight to pack a little fruit and one of these spiffy stainless steel Japanese Suncraft knives.
As I bit into this juicy kiwi, I remember thinking:
How is it that I’m sitting here now and eating a tiny fruit that was harvested on the other side of the earth?
There was no judgment over the astronomical (one might even say grotesque) carbon footprint of my organic New Zealand kiwi – it was simply a sense of wonder that I live at a time in human history where such an act is even possible.
Note: After writing the above post I discovered that a “sense of wonder” is a recognized concept in science fiction literature. It’s related to a “numinous” experience. Here’s an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry:
The sense of wonder is related to, but not identical to, the concept of the numinous…the numinous, in this case, is the understanding that there is something not directly comprehensible, but large and entirely other, in the world. The sense of wonder, by contrast, is the understanding that there is something that one had not fully comprehended — or perhaps had not even recognized that there was something to be comprehended — until that point.