It's a magical night, tonight. In the midst of all the frenzy about when and where to trick or treat, the blustery storms, the blog posts about people suddenly becoming convicted to the evils of celebrating Halloween, and the barrage of cute kid pics, I wonder how many of us actually stepped outside and just felt alive.
Not so much out of conviction as a general desire to avoid the rain, Quinn and I spent the evening in playing strategy board games, like the hopeless nerds we are. But now, he is asleep and I am on the porch because I can't quite bring myself to go inside. It's just too alive out here.
If you aren't in Nashville or if you didn't go out today, the wind is swirling through the trees, sending the newly emerging fall colors into a kind of frenzied dance. Some trees along my drive went from fully loaded to completely bare over the course of the day, and yet the wind remains relentless in its determination to strip every last leaf from the arms of its mother tonight.
It's a restless night to match my restless heart. This would be the perfect night for the beginning of a story. If I were a character in a novel, I might hear voices in the leaves or see a face in the wind. A gnome might pop in for a spot of tea, or perhaps the tree in my front yard would spontaneously combust, opening a portal to another dimension.
It's not cold enough for goosebumps, yet they dance along my skin as if the whole world were alive with the breath of God. "Ah," the spirit whispers, "but it is. Only perhaps today you have been still enough and I have been loud enough for you to finally notice."
I've been reading a lovely little book by N.D. Wilson called Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl. It's pretty fabulous. Although he's primarily a secular juvenile fiction writer, this book serves as his statement of faith and a deeper call to the wonder and awesomeness of God's creation. It isn't really quotable because he travels along at breakneck pace, intoxicated by creation and the story woven by our creator. It almost feels like he's on drugs, and indeed he does apologize in the preface for being intoxicated with this life we live. I am reminded that God is way past crazy. He is completely ridiculous in the way he lavishes out his love and unreasonably extravagant with his creativity. I suspect most of us would find him terribly gauche and embarrassingly over enthusiastic if we were to see him laugh and cry and rejoice over his creation.
Throughout the book I find myself laughing out loud, caught of guard, simultaneously reprimanded for my lack of faith and reminded of the very things that brought me to faith. It has been exactly what my creator ordered, to see through a new set of eyeballs, to feel through a redeemed skin, and to taste flavors beyond imagining.
Before Quinn went to bed tonight I said we should play one last game. He was very excited and asked me what the rules were. I said, "It's very simple. We go stand on the deck and the first one to get blown away loses." He laughed and we continued getting ready for bed. But now as I sit here on the porch, I can't help but wonder if maybe, just maybe, the first one to get blown away by this wind might actually be the winner.