AHHHHH…This week our State Fair opened in our town, here in Vermont and the flavors called to us…delicious maple soft serve ice cream, and the fried dough…yum. My husband and I did our annual trek about the fair, looking at the 4H tent and checking out the photo contests…listening to the mixture of the midway noises colliding with the music from the stadium bands……so much to see, so much walking and it seemed like the crowds were always squeezing past. Fun and totally fair. So we were done, right?
Actually we had signed up to host the small booth of a local church the next evening for a couple of hours, and the experience was so amazingly different, that I wanted to invite you to experience that, too.
Before we left to man the booth and acquaint people with the church, the sky shouted at us to stay home. Storms coming on the weather tracker….storm here….with huge dark clouds at only 6 pm. And bursts of thunder and some rain and the flashes of occasional lightning. I was imagining the challenge of just being out there….should we reconsider? Bravely we set off (it felt brave), and located our drenched booth, thankful that there was a little roof over us. It was intimidating, exhilarating and serene, at all the same time.
Beneath the huge canopy of billowing storm clouds we sat, scrunched close together on the lawn chairs, trying not to lean on the damp table covering. While rain dripped, splashed and sprayed all around, Kevin popped open his Kindle to read what came up….and my heart and ears both caught the amazing words…”He made darkness His canopy around Him, gathering up waters, thick clouds of the skies…
Huh? Canopy of clouds…God? “…the Lord thundered from heaven,” Kevin continued, as a huge burst of real thunder punctuated his reading. I asked where he was reading from… from the Old Testament, 2 Samuel 22: 12-14. Wow. I leaned out from my own little tent and relooked at these amazing clouds above me. Earlier I had wondered why were here in the rain, but now it felt like it was God’s plan for us to see the fair this way.
In the serene, almost surreal peace of the almost empty fair grounds, I could see the blinking lights of the Ferris wheel showcased against the rainy dark sky….see the reflections of the fried dough booth across from us in the puddles of the path, and smell the fresh breeze of rain. Very special, very still with no tinny fair sounds to interrupt us, and the very real presence of the beauty of even these billowing clouds above us.
The fair this way, will always be painted in my soul….the evening like a sigh of superior beauty.