we walked through trees on fire

Much of the park was still green, but some of the trees looked as if a lighter had been held beneath them – as if the leaves were leaping flames in gold and amber and rust hues. We admired them like fireworks with our wide eyes, each a new treasure we pretended to hold in our un-mittened hands.

It is beautiful to wonder at the world together – to accept an offered hand to hold on the adventure, to share the same whimsical twinkle that will lead a pair into an agreeable and mysterious future.

It’s beautiful to wonder together at the world.

I might not have seen the deep amber color or marveled at it quite the same. I might not have paused with my face toward the wind to see the lake at dusk. I might not have ducked in to the brewery and appreciated my way around a meat and cheese plate with the most delicious fresh whole grain mustard.

I suppose I don’t know that for sure, but I have my good guesses. Because I like to wonder at the world a certain way, with my certain eyes and my certain gait. It is much different to wonder together – to make a destination with intertwined fingers, with different appetites and different strides.

We made friends with the autumn air, walking with intertwined frozen fingers around the top of the park still admiring the trees on fire. It didn’t matter that it was Thursday and today was a work day. I think there is a sense, as you wonder together at the world, that the present moments are more worth admiring. Maybe not. I guess I feel an urgency and responsibility to wonder regardless of my company.

Still, there is something different about being ready to say “Yes!” before the question is even asked. “Yes!” was on the tip of my tongue before he ever suggested coffee and definitely before he mentioned buying a board game and playing until after midnight with friends.

Wondering at the world together is a magical thing. It is something worth crawling out of my private wonder to enjoy. It is something worth an invitation and something always worth a “Yes!”

Because, I think, I can get wrapped up in my personal world of wonder. I can be selective about what inspires my soul. I can be even too discreet about what grips my gut and what makes me sing. I can look too much for what has made me wonder before and I can forget to look for new mercies.

We walked through trees on fire last night and a piece of my sleepy heart woke up to wonder at the world God has made.

coming home in a stranger’s clothes

Being a little less like Amelia just isn’t in the cards for me, I don’t think.¬†Definitely not if I come home wearing a stranger’s clothes, which is what happened last night.

I left my apartment freshly dressed in (what I thought was) light rain attire and quickly learned that my 10 block walk to the church community group would be a very wet adventure.

After about block #2, I realized my shoes were squishing. After block #5, I ducked into an open apartment building doorway and had a one-way conversation with a nice man waiting for the rain to pass. I explained my options: forge on and arrive at a stranger’s house looking like a wet dog or return to my apartment looking like a wet dog without failing a first impression. He seemed to have no opinion either way, so of course I forged ahead, leaving him to laugh in the doorway.

Every bit of me was soaked, from my hooded head to my size six feet. My hair was matted down and my pants had turned a deeper green color. When I got to the house, I apologized instead of introduced myself because I knew I looked frightful. Before I knew it, I was changed into a nice woman’s clothes and munching on vegan chocolate blueberry biscotti on her sofa and listening to her tell their NYC relocation story.

My clothes never did dry, so I wore the nice woman’s clothes back home and made myself a saucepan of hot water (no teapot yet) and some ginseng green tea while I spread out the rain shower I had soaked up in my garments.

Oh, I am ever so grateful for Christian community – where no one is really a stranger and a dry change of clothes is only one knock away! It’s Christian community that keeps Amelia’s like myself clothed and safe. I suppose it takes many invisible miracles to keep my clumsy feet from slipping in this city and for that I am very grateful.

I’ll return the clothes soon and have another reason to knock on that door on Sterling Street. We won’t be strangers anymore (I mean, how can we after sharing closets?) and that has just added three more names to my very slim NYC rolodex.

Now, about getting that wisdom, maybe one can come by it on a round about path. Maybe “getting” wisdom can look like meeting strangers and rain walking and couch conversations, too.