Well here I finally am again; it’s been a good few days since I last wrote. Since then, the Indian summer days of our lingering warmth have given way to the sudden bluster of the first snow. We woke to a world cloaked in white. Something in the blue and grey enchantment of the snow sent me into a week of autumnal nesting that has ended in my own small world being appropriately crafted for the colder days now settling in around us. Baskets of leaves and berries, a dozen little candles, old scarves pulled out of the trunk, new books selected and stacked. All the necessities of a life made rich.
On the last chilly Saturday I nestled up with hot chocolate and finished The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. He was a contemporary of Dickens with the same writer’s penchant for intricate plot twists and unforgettably piquant characters along with the necessary dose of romantic drama. His mysteries are excellent long winter reading. On a more serious note, I just finished Mike Yaconelli’s Dangerous Wonder. It’s a short book, very easy to read, but full of startling passion. Just look at the chapter titles to get a feel for the childlike fervor that pervades this book: 1. Dangerous Wonder – 2. Risky Curiosity – 3. Wild Abandon – 4. Daring Playfulness – 5. Intense Listening… It is a book about recovering the fire and frost wonder of God. I like it because while on the one hand urging a Father/child intimacy with Jesus that nestles close to the Spirit of God and experiences daily life as miraculous, he also advocates a recovery of awe, a new realization of the otherness of God in all his beauty and indescribable mystery. I like books that prick my heart and haunt my thought. This one did.
In other news, part of my woefully infrequent blogging of late is the fact that every spare chance at writing I get it is spent on putting together book proposals for two of my current projects. One is a book that has grown up in my mind through my days and years, a book about the “strange” gifts of God. The unexpected gifts of pain, loneliness, physical suffering, isolation and how when relinquished to God, they become the things that most deeply shape us for all that is good and beautiful. The other is a sort of “adult fairy tale” as Lewis himself might say. I’m thrilled to have the chance to propose either of these. Please (oh please oh please) pray that I’ll overcome my current writing block. (The diabolic humor of the universe sometimes floors me; here I am finally able to submit a proposal and now my restless brain insists on freezing? This is something up with which I shall not put!)
And lastly; in four more days I am off on a short, traditional jaunt to my second home in a tucked away cottage in Kentucky. I spend time with my beloved friend Gwen every autumn and the time has finally come. The comfort of her cottage and her friendship are some of the most tangible evidences of God’s reality I’ve ever felt.
So, a week of small things writ large over my thought. Not much extraordinary is in the air of late, but the ordinary is quite fulfilling in and of itself. I think it’s something in the apple crisp air…