song 28: come away

eleven years ago today, Noah and i exchanged vows... in the moonlight, in the woods, in the middle of nowhere. he drove me out to the sticks and showed me from whence he came, and suddenly everything mysterious and mystical about him made perfect sense. our friend Robin always said he was a mythical creature... a unicorn, really. so he took me out to Marblemount, and showed me the remnants of the old hippie commune where his parents met and fell in love, where he was born and raised, and where he lived until he ventured out into the big city of Seattle at the age of 18 to go to college. we spent the day wandering in the forest, remembering the past, and dreaming about the future. he showed me the ancient airstream all but swallowed up by the weeds and bushes, and told me the tale of how, shortly after he gave his heart to Jesus the Spring before, he'd stopped by Marblemount on his way to climb a mountain so he could spend a week at the top with God in silence, and he'd felt the urge to go over and check out that camper. he'd seen an old embroidered wall hanging which read:

no eye has seen
no ear has heard
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love Him

i said i was pretty sure that was a verse in the bible, which was news to him. we ran into an old friend that lived in the log cabin at the end of the road, where the commune began, and he invited us to dinner. we spent the evening laughing and listening to outrageous tales as Randy, who helped found the commune, told us story after story. we later learned this was a rare gift, as he was not one to go on about those days. we stayed long past dark, far too late for a sunday night when we were hours from home and i had to be up early for work.

we said our goodbyes and made our way through the woods, and then the fields, hopping over barbed wire fences in the moonlight and winding our way through the tall grass. noah stopped and wrapped his arms around me, kissing me sweetly as we both cried softly. it was surreal. he finally spoke, barely above a whisper, vowing to love me his whole life long. i instinctively repeated his vows, one vow after another, after another. it was such a holy moment.

having never actually discussed married, but fully knowing we would one day be married, it was all the more poignant. it felt so real. it felt like our own little woodsy wedding. i remember asking God if it was really real... silently asking Him for a sign. as we gazed up at the sky, we something happened i can't (and won't try to) explain. without looking away i slowly asked, "what was THAT?!" to which Noah declared, "it was a sign."

we headed home. a mile or two out of Marblemount there's this little white chapel... you know, the kind that only seats 6-8 people? i was coming down with a cold and felt exhausted and was dreading the drive and the workday to follow (it being nearly midnight, with a three hour drive ahead and a 6am wakeup call waiting for me)... but how could i say no? Noah went to the front of the church, cracked open a ginormous bible, looked at me with a huge grin on his face, and asked me if i'd "heard anything?"

in those days, addresses for bible verses would often pop into my head. i would sort of see them faintly in the back of my mind... white letters on a black background, almost in a "Papyrus" font (and if you ask me, i think that font should be outlawed)... sometimes just sitting there, sometimes scrolling across the screen, like a bulletin on the nightly news. an address would pop into my head and i'd turn there, and much more often than not it would be a literal answer to a literal question i was just asking or praying.

i did. i did hear something. i got an address: 1 Corinthians 7:9. i turned to it and read silently, without indicating to Noah what or where i was reading: "but if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion." well i definitely wasn't reading THAT to him, so i said to myself, "uh... maybe that 7 was a 2?" i turned to 1 Corinthians 2:9 and read aloud: "no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him."

we were married for reals almost exactly six months later. it was a Spring or two after that Noah wrote this song, based on Song of Songs 2. it conjures up images of that glorious day in Marblemount when we pledged our love to one another. the season for singing has come...

rise up, my love, my fair one
and come away
arise my little darling
and come away with me

for lo, the winter has passed
the rains are over and gone
the flowers cover the earth
the season for singing has come
the cooing of the dove
is heard throughout our land
the fig tree forms her fruit
the spring has come at last

rise up, my love...