Ever notice how a lot of things break, refuse to work or disintegrate when you rush out the door on a trip? Door handles, fingernails, zippers: all falling apart and breaking apart just as you really need them to work in the sprint to get out of the door into your car to meet a plane and arrive at a brand new place, all out-of-sorts.
If, like Anne Lamott posits in her book, Traveling Mercies, that having a lot of things break all at once is a sign that something big and lovely is going to be born, then we are all in labor with a magazine-model beautiful baby in these next few days at the Wild Goose festival.
Although I made it just fine (and on time), the whole trip was characterized by unpredictable internet connections, late cabs (How the h*!@ do you get another cab to pick you up at 4:30 a.m.?!?) and spilled food (right in the Charlotte, NC airport). The other distinct character of the day included far more outrageous hospitality than I ever deserved — embodied first by a Charlotte airport bathroom attendant who declared every frantic traveler blessed as they hurriedly stopped to use the facilities. More of that gracious blessing followed when I finally arrived, slightly dazed and more than a little confused the Wild Goose Festival site to find total strangers always willing put their two hands to work to put up a tent, carry a bag or offer you a drink.
If Holy Spirit’s business IS breaking and opening our hearts anew, that’s what’s already happening through this wild festival of the faithful where people embrace you in their delightfully weird extended family that gathers its reunion in the North Carolina mountains for a few days each year. Breaking some stuff seems to be a small casualty of the Holy Spirit breaking forth in this place.