Wonderground: My 2023 Touchstone Word

Hi friends

Every January I choose a word or phrase that will serve as my touchstone, a North Star to navigate my life by in the coming year. I’m eager to share my touchstone word for 2023:


“Wonderground” functions both as a noun and a verb. A wonderground is a context, a ground upon which a person or community cultivates and exercises wonder. “Let’s go down to the wonderground for the community conversation tonight.” The verb form, “to wonderground” means to ground one’s wonder in a practical context. “We wonderground our longing for a more harmonious world in our daily lives.”

I use wonderground in both these senses. I love the synthesis implied in joining Wonder and Ground. It brings to mind that sage advice Casey Kasem used to offer on the radio: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

I’m not content to embrace Wonderground as a nice concept. My aspiration is to host wondergrounds and to propagate the skill of wondergrounding, so that together we might learn to wonder well.

In our lives here at Charis community, we regularly convene with cohorts in several wondergrounds:

  • Wednesday evenings, the Ministry of Imagination gatherings we host are conversational wondergrounds.
  • Our weekly Sunday afternoon Songtuary is a singers’ wonderground.
  • Our Saturday morning juggle jams provide a wonderground for jugglers.

May we find/create wondergrounds in which to dwell together in the coming year!

For a deeper dive into the nature of wondergrounds and wondergrounding, read my “Notes from Wonderground.” It’s an array of quotes and musings that investigate the roots and branches of “wonder”.

Do you feel the pull of a Touchstone Word for 2023? If so, I’d love to hear about it! (To learn more about how to discern a suitable word for your year, check out this short instructive article: https://fearofsinging.com/2022/01/05/word-of-the-year-revisited/ )

Singcerely yours,


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