And in the dream I knew that he was on up ahead and that he was fixin to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold, and I knew that when I got there he would be there.  Out there up ahead.  (Emphasis added.)

 Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, in No Country for Old Men

+ + +

Early morning in the Blue Ridge with the pastel pinks in thin hopeful bands dwarfed by blue-gray clouds giving their cautious reminder, amplified by the cold misplaced autumn wind here in mid-May – telling us again, over our objection, that sequences are not certainties … as the predictable cows graze without distraction, standing firmly on the lush green sloping ridge, ambling slowly without care or concern – stability, seemingly more solid than man.

I awoke today thinking of Charles Taylor who writes of the distance between enchantment and disenchantment – and the vast difference between experiencing life in one and then the other.  Yes, how the latter is so much more narrow, constricting and disconnecting, how it silences that once known, even the ultimate … how in the former, belief was so easily accessible and in the latter it is not.

In the lines above Sheriff Bell is telling his wife about a dream he had in which he encountered his father on horseback who rode past him without acknowledgement and disappeared over the hill into the dead of night and of his certainty in the dream that his father would be there in the dark and cold when he himself arrived on the far side of the mountain.


Sheriff Bell had searched his life for God, and as he reported with prior disappointment He just didn’t ever seem to appear.


While the everyday world and its bludgeoning materiality can swamp and then drown enchantment and lay waste to the mere idea of believing – as it has … a person is made to believe, made for much more than what is visible.  Indeed, the substances of dreams confirms our need.  We are not, you see, human beings when without enchantment.  No, we cannot love without it nor can we trust and know, or laugh, or hope, or endure.

Think about what your culture and its voices say to you.  Are any of the common public figures more than lost souls – mistaken and then misguiding?  Who among them has dared to think about the “artifice of eternity” as William Butler Yeats has?  Or shares the confident conclusion of Carl Jung who says: ” … the sole purpose of human existence is to enkindle a light in the darkness of mere being?”

In his dream Sheriff Bell’s father carried a fire in a horn when he passed by his son into the dark and cold of night.  Who is your father?  Does He carry a warming light in all that dark and cold?  Do you know He waits for you, and do you live accordingly?