Today our third clue in the Wind in the Willows knit-a-long was released, and I started reading Chapter 7 of The Wind in the Willow, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. I’ve been anticipating this chapter with great excitement and read the first part today with something near rapturous joy.
The themes and undercurrent emotion in this chapter run deep as Mole and Rat experience their encounter with the divine. It’s beautifully captured and brought me to tears with joy and longing. Of course, C.S. Lewis would say that these emotions are the same. And I would agree. I thought of him as I read these lines.
“Now it passes on and I begin to lose it,” he said presently. “O, Mole! the beauty of it! The merry bubble and joy, the thin, clear happy call of the distant piping! Such music I never dreamed of, and the call in it is stronger even than the music is sweet! Row on, Mole, row! For the music and the call must be for us”
My heart nearly burst with the desire to hear the call too. That deep-seated longing, reaching back beyond the first dawn of time – to meet the Piper that knows the tune to our hearts – pulls so strongly on my very soul.
This is the place of my song-dream, the place the music played to me,” whispered the Rat, as if in a trance. “Here, in this holy place, here if anywhere, surely we shall find Him”
The animals follow the call of the pipes to a nearby island off the river, clothed with wildflowers and with a stand of willows, whose leaves hide the mysterious musician. Mole and Rat make their way towards the tree, drawn irresistibly by the beauty and desire of the call. Here, if anywhere, in the everyday holy moment of life, we shall meet Him too. We shall hear the song He sings over us.
Rat and Mole see their “Friend and Helper” and are overwhelmed with the vision.
All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived, and still, as he lived, he wondered.”
Look… live… wonder – this is the call of grace hovering over all of us. It whispers in the trees, dances in sunlight and moonlight, paints the wildflowers, roars with the waves, laughs in birdcalls, caresses in the wind, echoes in the forest. Look… live…life is found in response to the call. This is the beckoning call of God – look and live. And be filled with wonder as your eyes and ears fill with the music of grace; the music of the Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
Blessings to you,