I've been thinking about romance...

The Lover's Hermitage

Darryl and I just celebrated our 39th anniversary. You have heard this one before - but I cannot believe I have been married for 39 years! What happened to that little 18 year old girl standing in an apartment in Van Nuys, California, green off the Iowa farm?

Well, she invested an inordinate amount of time and energy in creating a home - a kind of hermitage - for her husband over those years. In fact, although a well-kept physical home is extremely comforting and relaxing, an emotional home is vitally more important. A hermitage, as Webster defines it, is a secluded residence, a private retreat or hideaway. Creating an emotional hermitage for a husband is a terrific metaphor for the most romantic kind of homemaking.

A few years ago I ran across a beautiful poem by Mike Mason describing his relationship with his new wife. You see, Mike did not plan on ever marrying, but God directed him along a different path and he fell in love. When Mike married, he raised the bar of romantic married love by putting pen to paper. Here is what he wrote:

Love, you are my hermitage, my dwelling forever.

Just as a happy bachelor may aspire to be a hermit,
So as your husband do I dream of being more married.

Your body in a path leading through a golden wood;
Your love is a clearing in the center of the forest.

Here I have built my home, here in you alone.
With you I know a solitude deeper than my own.

One table, one rocking chair by the hearth of you -
And in your face a window brighter than the sky!

Are not your arms a shelter made of all my longings?
How gladly shall I spend my life in the cool still hush of you!

Your words are quieter than my thoughts.
Your moods are the shade beneath dancing poplars.

When you smile I'm warmed like earth in the sun.
Your laugh is the brook at my doorstep.

Gentler are you than breath, much stranger than death.
Just to touch your hair is more peaceful than sleep.

Where else could I die but in your brown eyes?
Surely all my wandering finds its end in you.

Love, you are my hermitage, my dwelling forever.

The challenge of this poem is focusing on what kind of a person do I need to be to warrant this type of breathtaking tribute? I want to be my best romantic self.