Sunday afternoon my friend Cabell & I pretended we were young and spontaneous by taking a 7 hour road trip to Nashville and back for Ellie Holcomb's CD release party. The event was exciting, the music was incredible, and the uninterrupted time for conversation with my wise friend was a true gift.
We talked a lot about what life looks like here in the neighborhood of 40 years old--how perspectives are different and what we are learning to let go versus cling to. It was good, soul refreshing stuff.
As we discussed marriage I mentioned that my husband & I were emerging from a season that I can only describe as being at a gathering in a crowded room full of people. It's a fun party. Surrounded by people we (mostly) enjoy, with lots of opportunities for enriching conversation, laughter and the like...but I spend most of this metaphorical night separated from my partner. Occasionally our eyes meet across the crowd. I love him so. I am secure in the fact that he loves me too, but jealous for the time other people are getting with my husband.
This is how the last several months have been for me. We keep trying to make our way across the room to each other--but are slowed down and distracted by this person or that conversation. I just want him to come grab my hand and pull me out onto the terrace--where it is quiet and less crowded--free from work, kids, bills, decisions, deacon duties, small groups, board meetings and the guilt that I'm not managing things well enough. (Sounds like we need a weekend away!)
But a weekend away in and of itself won't 'solve' this--the fact of the matter is that, to some degree, it's just life. And at the end of this crazy party, I know I get to go home with him.
Thankfully, our commitment is strong. We are in a season of older, deeper, more secure love. Where it used to be that holding my hand sent sparks, it now centers me. Snuggling up next to him now is less about heart-pounding excitement and more about security and peace. It sounds so old and boring, but it feels so safe and good.
During Ellie's concert Sunday night she had her husband, Drew Holcomb, join her onstage to perform one of my favorites--Hung the Moon. I recognized the first few chords and was so excited. As the song went on, I noticed they had changed the arrangement. Initially, I was disappointed. They had slowed down the tempo. The once bubbly song now sounded more like a thoughtful ballad. I appreciated that the notes were lower, richer and each lyric lingered a bit longer.
And I thought of my twelve year old marriage. The tempo is different--the lyrics seem to get richer with age. We aren't the same people we were when they were written. But the song--it is the same. And it is still my favorite.
"I put on that white dress for you, uh-huh.
Told that preacher man, 'Yes, I do' uh-huh.
I'll stay here and grow grey with you uh-huh.
I like the way you hung the moon uh-huh."
-From "Hung the Moon" by Drew & Ellie Holcomb