Apropos of something, I decided I wanted to go there this morning. And it was, in a word, perfect.
I saw a sign directing me down a street I've not taken and sighed when I ended up in a tiny gravel lot outside an elegant and old church building. I pulled open the door, smiling when it took some coaxing to release it from the jamb, and climbed up creaky stairs to the sanctuary.
It was small but tall room - blue and gold windows graced both sides of the structure and there was a wide column of pews in the center, flanked by two narrower columns on either side. Used to traveling in planes, I'd call it a 3-5-3 seating arrangement, but with sturdy dark wood gleaming with polish and charming scrolls on the edges.
I settled into the corner of a pew in the center, one row from the back, but stood when the pastor approached. He had been talking with the dozen or so people already seated and smoothed his white robe before reaching to shake my hand.
"I saw your sign and thought I would visit," I told him after he welcomed me and asked my name. "It's a gorgeous building."
"Built in the early 1800s," he told me and pointed out some relevant features while I cooed over architecture and was charmed by every sound from the planked floorboards.
The piano player did not arrive so we sang hymns a cappella, the few voices echoing reverently off the wooden floors and high ceilings and bringing a few tears to my eyes. I listened intently to the sermon and focused my mind and heart on prayer. I smiled at the baby who was baptized as he quietly surveyed his surroundings.
"Babies never cry in this church," the pastor mused as he finished his circuit and handed the little one back to his parents.
"Millie spoke of this place near the end," he said when I approached a man near the back and expressed my sorrow for the loss of his sister when we'd prayed for his family over the recent funeral. "She worshiped at many places, but this seemed the most memorable."
"It's a special place," I replied, looking around before returning my eyes to his and smiled. "I'll be back." And feeling as though my soul had been cleansed and I found a church that feels exactly right, I returned to my car and drove home.
I had a friend over this afternoon and was surprised and delighted at how much I enjoyed it. Given that I always do work while watching football, it was lovely to have conversation and laughter and, I don't know, just share space with someone whose company I enjoyed.
It was chilly, resulting in a smaller crowd of trick or treaters, but they were uniformly adorable. In contrast to my busy Southern neighborhood, we have a more modest crowd of children rather than teenagers sans costumes in search of free candy. I saw a banana and several monsters, many fairies and several football players, then there were lions, tigers and bears. (Oh, and a car! When I said I liked his costume, he told me he was a car. And I giggled and wished it were OK to cuddle him for a second. Instead, I gave him an extra handful of candy.) All were little and I spent much of the evening bent over, holding Chienne's collar with one hand and depositing candy in buckets with the other.
"You're welcome," I repeated as everyone politely thanked me. "Have fun," I'd offer the little ones with their parents. "Be careful," I'd gently caution those who were out with friends. (I can't help it - I worry.)
I extinguished my porch light after peering out and seeing empty sidewalks. I patted Chienne, smiling as she blinked at me sleepily and settled in to write a blog post.
As I look in my sidebar at archives, October was a busy month - rather full of text and photos and, for the most part, happy happenings. Good ending to a good month, I think.