The ‘Aww-Factor’

May be an image of dog and indoor

After weeks of waiting, Willow has had 5 labradoodle puppies. Abi put the picture on Facebook. The picture led to comments: ‘Gorgeous’, ‘Cute’, ‘Adorable’, ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Aww…’

Willow and her puppies have the ‘Aww-factor’

May be an image of hedgehog and outdoors

Henry the poorly hedgehog came into Kim’s garden. Tiny, under-weight and starving he was fed and watered. Kim’s story resulted in: ‘Poor little thing’, ‘Dear little hedgehog’ and ‘Aww…’

Henry too has the ‘Aww-factor’

It seems that the ‘Aww-factor’ is best appreciated by women; as an insensitive mere man I’m trying to understand this phenomenon…

I’ve discovered that the ‘Aww-factor’ also applies to babies (usually small, sweet-smelling and sleeping), lambs in spring (without mentioning roast dinners), some children (definitely not teenagers!) furry toys and sunsets.

‘Call the Midwife’ has returned to BBC1. Sister Monica Joan is struggling with getting older and her faith: ‘I may be verging on decrepitude, but I’m not yet dead!’

In a conversation with Fred the gardener on Sunday she said: ‘We are trained to hide so many things from others: fear, loneliness, doubt. The less we speak of our faults to others, the more they roar in our own ears… in the religious life, we speak of an extended period of doubt as ‘a dark night of the soul’. There is no light anywhere, and the very act of seeking it – of seeking him – only emphasises the void…’

She’s lost sight of the ‘Aww-factor’.

My friend David used to contrast life’s ‘Wow!’ and ‘Ow!’ He’d speak about the ‘Wow!’ of the sea, sun, fields and trees; a great, loving powerful God of creation and beauty. He’d also speak of the ‘Ow!’ reality of a broken, fallen world and our individual sadness and pain.

We’ve all experienced Sister Monica Joan’s Ow!-darkness – sickness, despair, fear, bereavement, frustration… but we also need to see the Wow!-‘aww-factor’ of Spring days and cheerful children at play – as well as baby labradoodle puppies and poorly hedgehogs.

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