If you were to choose one thing to “startle the senses and surprise the mind out of their ruts of habit, to compel us into a reawakened awareness of… that which is full of wonder” — I’m curious what you’d select. Dissonant music? Eye-grabbing contemporary art? Skydiving?
Edward Abbey, the 1950s park ranger at Arches National Park who wrote Desert Solitaire, said that it is nature that does these things. I concur. Particularly effective are natural phenomena that are just outside the bounds of the expected. Look at the examples I give, and then tell me what moves YOUR mind out of its rut. What re-awakens you to the wonderful?