In the classic Peanuts tale from 1966 Linus van Pelt hopes that on Halloween night the Great Pumpkin will visit his young admirer. Linus forgoes the festivities of the night as he waits in the great pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin.
The Peanuts Gang is in rare form as they prepare for the night activities and have difficulties with Linus’ belief in the Great Pumpkin. Poor Charlie Brown receives rocks instead of goodies for his efforts.
Linus mistakes a World War I dressed flying ace (aka Snoopy) as the Great Pumpkin. He faints at the sight.
Of course, the Great Pumpkin never materialized to the young believer, even though Linus had written a touching letter. The next day he and Charlie Brown discussed the great disappointment of the previous October night.
Linus is convinced that next year the Great Pumpkin will come. Charlie Brown is not convinced that next Halloween will be any different for them.
Belief is personal. It is not commercial. It cannot be packaged. Cannot be purchased.
Belief is an individual response to the cosmos. Many look and see those things which are invisible, the intangibles of hope and the things unseen.
On the other hand many look at the same cosmos and see themselves as mere specks on the shore of the cosmic ocean. Their fate is to be washed away by the cosmic waves.
Going back to Linus, his faith did not waiver despite his family and friends’ apathy. He was sure there was a Great Pumpkin, and the Great Pumpkin would make its appearing on that special night in October.
When it comes to you the reader, what is your belief? Your reality? Do your family and friends share your belief? Are you a lonely traveller on the road of life winding its way to its ultimate destination in the cosmic ocean?
A child’s faith is simple when measured by the scientific method or the theological standards of the Seminary, the bastion of sacred knowledge as defined by the tenets of the particular controlling body. A child accepts belief without too much fuss and bother. To a child all things are possible, even a belief in the Great Pumpkin or Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
Perhaps, as we age, the simple faith of youth dims in the harsh night of our journey. The journey is arduous with many distractions.
Tonight take a moment or two to glance at the cosmos. The faith of a child which once resided in you is still there if you pause to listen to the cosmic symphony.
To believe again on this October night is a gift which can be yours again. Listen in silence as starlight bathes you with its mystic chords of memory in your pumpkin patch. For starlight is the history of creation and it has a special song to share.
G. D. Williams © 2011
Linus, Sally, Snoopy and Lucy
The Great Pumpkin Waltz