Suffice it to say, my sweetheart and I did not fall in love at the same pace. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a huge difference and thankfully for me, things evened up fairly quickly. But there was a time when that was not so.
In fact, the timing during those early days after we met was just off enough that I had to make a strange but solemn promise… Because I was in love I had to promise to leave so that I could stay. OK, let me explain.
In 1989, my wife and I ended up in the same public speaking club in San Rafael, California affiliated with Toastmasters International. Actually, I was the newcomer as my wife had been a member for several years by then and was quite an accomplished speaker. (But I digress.)
Admittedly, I was early on deeply smitten with this woman that would eventually become my life partner. Only a few years before this time, there had been a kind of perfect storm in my life, with my Mother’s death, a business I helped start imploding, and a divorce that felt like pulling a band-aid off one hair at a time.
It was also true that my future wife to be was cautious herself, after being in a long-term relationship that had its own bumps, potholes, and unexpected off-ramps. Because of this and also the critical fact that my sweetheart had so many friends in our Toastmaster’s club, I had to promise that if it did not work out between us, I would be the one to leave.
Quite honestly, I was fine with this promise, as I had no intention of having things not work out! But then it all came to a head one dramatic afternoon standing on her car deck.
My sweetheart and I had been invited to a Toastmaster party at a fellow member’s house. Our TM gang was so fun and connected during those times that parties were not rare. (Note: Many of our best friends are from that club to this day, though it has been years since we were active members.)
So it was just before we were about to leave for the party, when I heard this request. “Why don’t we drive in separate cars so no one will suspect we’re dating?” (I should mention here that we later learned that no matter how secretive we thought we were being, just about everyone in the club knew we were seriously dating. And we thought we were being so stealth.)
So with this request from my sweetheart, came my faithful answer, remembered to this day. “No,” I said! “Let’s ride together…” and we did. It was a wonderful moment.
Years later, this poem came to me one morning during my daily writing session. A practice I’ve had for many years.
Poems can do many critical things for us, however one of the most important is to help us remember our greatest joys. To remind us of who we are when we are at our best and most happy and grateful. And these are no small things to be regularly reminded of. Here are the words that came to me and that I still read often.
NO SOLICITATIONS ALLOWED
That year we met, I think
You really meant it, that part
About “no way” at first but then
My foot got in the door somehow
And caused quite a stir among us
Both, next a whole history happened.
There are some things so wonderfully
Mysterious that even mountains will
Not say them out loud, and they
Will simply stand there
In silence and in love
Madly with the sun and rain,
By dale biron
PS: You don’t have to write poetry to love and use it. Though I love to write poetry, I love to read it just as much!
PS PS: The picture was taken at our wedding celebration party a few months after we were married and had just returned from wonderful trip.