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Rim Your Glass With Wonder

Pink Salt

I’m dying to see the movie Wonder Woman. Have you seen it yet?

My sisters and I watched Wonder Woman, the tv show, as kids – the crown, the invisible jet, that lasso of truth! She was, she is, just so WONDERFUL.

But guess what? I’ve just learned that it’s the root of that word – WONDER – that makes Wonder Woman SO wonderful.

Greg Rucka is a comic book writer for DC’s comic book series Wonder Woman. He shared this revelation in a recent interview on CBC radio.

“We look at Wonder Woman and I think people default to the wonder modifier – she’s wonderful, or we wonder at this woman who can do these things… but in my writing I’ve taken very seriously that she wonders…that sense of wonder, that desire to discover, is core to the character.”

Rucka’s words resonated with me. Embodying wonder is a notion my father explored while researching this piece on the Canadian physician, Dr. William Osler. Osler loved to laugh, wrote my father, especially with children, and used this ‘feeling’ as an important tool in connecting with his patients:

“You probably would not see wonderment on any list of humour types, but wonderment does have some things in common with humour: it is easily recognized, its nuances are appreciated but not readily understood, and like humour, it is felt. Everyone is familiar with the feeling—to marvel, to be amazed.”

Yes, we all know this feeling. The challenge is figuring out how to access it.

I want to live my life with humour and with wonder. I’m not necessarily going to fight crime, or wear that sexy little suit. But I do want to wake up curious. I want to ask questions and dig a little. Because when I wonder, inspiration grows. Knowledge grows. I grow.

I’ve noticed over the years that wonder is extinguished by fatigue. Frustration. Too many things on the list. But every so often, the stars align, and wonderment sets in.

My friend Regan is full of wonder. You can see it in her outfits – they’re a unique blend of thrift and special, thrown together in a whimsical, beautiful way. You can see it in her food – every little morsel she serves if full of interest and flavour. Then, there are her plates, her glasses, her bowls and her linens. Everything has a story, everything gives her joy, and she uses these things, on the daily…. those gold rimmed pink plates from a charity shop. The massive silver bowl, complete with antlers, filled with ice for rosé. A tiny vase filled with lily of the valley, sitting amongst the bottles in her cocktail cabinet. And then, that night, a pretty plate covered in shimmering pink crystals. My sense of wonder was perculating. I could feel it. What were these pink crystals? What was she doing with them? Could I make them too? I watched, with wonder, as Regan ran a lemon wedge along the rim of a vintage champagne coupe. She inverted the glass onto the plate and rimmed the glass with those pink crystals. Next came a splash of rhubarb and thyme simple syrup, a splash of gin then sparkling water.

The pink crystals? Rhubarb salt: half a cup of coarse sea salt blended with half a stalk of rhubarb, then left on the counter to dry. The cocktail was so pretty, so flavourful, so wonderful.

A few days later I found myself rummaging through my refrigerator. I was tired. I was distracted. But then I found some rhubarb I had forgotten about. I could feel a tiny spark of wonder inside. I pulled out some salt and put it in my tiny food processor along with the rhubarb. I blitzed it all together and left it to dry. What would I make? Cocktails? Sprinkle it on savoury biscuits? Soup? Chocolate cake?

Greg Rucka ended the radio interview with this thought: “This character, Wonder Woman, has survived for 75 years and will survive another 75 years and beyond that. That sense of wonder, that desire to discover – those things don’t change.”

I know this to be true. I can feel it.