Waking up this morning to cellophane candy wrappers tucked in between couch cushions.
Jack-o-lantern buckets already placed out of reach on top of the fridge.
The neighbors sheeted ghosts hang, dew-heavy, from the low branches of their tree.
The air is cool outside after days of rain.
The thrill of costumes and wigs and walking down the middle of a dark street
– every car driving sluggishly, looking for small masked children lugging candy –
all that evaporates
with the morning sun
and we are left, as the day after a mardi gras parade,
with a scatter of debris and quieter day ahead.
After the electric chaos of hours before,
we secretly ache to be anchored again, to come back to ourselves,
to wipe off the makeup and put the wigs back on the shelf.
It was good while it lasted, this being something different,
the dressing up,
helping us remember that we could be something else if we tried,
even just in fantasy.
On this day after, we fold into our truer destiny
– the greatest feat of us –
a most beautiful transformation
making ghoul masks seem like lint in our pockets.
I wait in anticipation for that evening hour, walking through the large white doors,
pews and aisles and streaming people making a runway for my eyes to behold Him.
The incense, the vestments, the holding up of glided plate and cup.
Holding only our Everything.
Already, I long to hear that litany of saints
sung, as always, by two collegiate choir members
usually quite well, but either way not mattering.
Because my mind drifts.
The echoed cantering, back and forth, bouncing off of walls and bodies and centuries.
“All you holy men and women pray for us”
I close my eyes for once and imagine.
(what does not need imagining, because it is real. more real that these keyboard keys I press, than the coffee I sip, than my children’s voices drifting down the hall.)
I imagine the REALITY that there is
than everything we see.
Our days on earth are really only a blink in the eye of God.
That we are created for Him, and that His first and longest held thought is that He wants us.
This day of All Saints, exploding our expectations compared to last night’s visions of
ghosts and princesses and babies dressed like bears and tigers and other small soft things.
If we really let ourselves go for a moment, if we shut our eyes and remember,
we know that this IS the more daring day.
We listen. As does He.
For He longs for our names to be sung out, too.
and here’s an excerpt from my friend Heather King’s new book, ‘Holy Days and Gospel Reflections’. Go get one.