We sat in what was possibly the loveliest, and most romantic, courtyard fine dining atmosphere I’ve ever experienced. Surrounded by tall walls of climbing vines, accented with hanging vintage lanterns, and set to life by literally hundreds of real candles, the space was filled with tables for two, and four, encouraging intimate conversation.

We were originally set to meet some long-time friends whom we hadn’t seen in a quite a while. Unfortunately, they had a last minute emergency which left us on our own. We let our table for four go, and were seated at one of the two-tops, presented with this week’s prix fixe menu and a lovely wine list.

After I had made my selections, I glanced across the table at my husband, readers perched on his nose. His silver hair was glistening in the candle light, and he was absent-mindedly stroking his goatee as he perused the menu. He had some new lines on his face, I noticed, some I knew were from sun, wind, and concentration on the golf course, or working on the property. Some from the reality of aging, some from laughing and loving, and some from stress. All of them, however – ALL of them – from the life we’ve lived together, for he didn’t have any at all when we first met. His, like mine, are borne of forged purpose, mountains and valleys hiked with clasped hands, beautiful, playful days, and dark stormy nights.

Breaking me from my revery, he pulled off his glasses and looked up at me, candlelight catching the beautiful blue of his eyes. Those eyes, an ocean in which I’ve drowned and still lived. Those eyes which have held mine with concern, joy, and passion, and a thousand other unnameable emotions. I reached across the table for his hand, and in that moment, years fell away and I saw his unlined, clean-shaven face, framed by dark curls. Maybe it was the magic of the candlelight, but I found myself thinking that perhaps it wasn’t such a bad thing that it was just the two of us.

And I let myself fall, as if for the first time, headlong into his eyes.


My beloved is mine, and I am his… ~ Song of Solomon 2:16 KJV