Wednesday, March 03, 2010

lenten journal: no frontiers

Yesterday, March 2, was my parents’ fifty-fourth wedding anniversary. It was also Texas Independence Day, and the birthday of both of my friends, Todd Lake and Lance Laird. All of those hold significance in my life, but I have to say today, March 3, matters more. It is not a holiday (that I know of) and Facebook has no birthday reminders (though today is Ira Glass’ birthday, if you are a fan of This American Life). It matters because, at our house, today is the Day of Gifts for No Reason.

Ginger and I started dating in January of 1989. On March 3 that year I gave her flowers, a CD, and a theology book because I had never dated anyone who could appreciate all three things. I wasn’t out to start a tradition; I was just falling in love with an amazing woman. But it became something worth continuing. I realized how much it meant to both of us the one year (about four or five in, I think) when I forgot it. That only happened once. March 3 has held significance for us now for twenty-one years.

I don’t remember the first CD I gave Ginger, but tonight I came back to a song that came out in 1989 from an album that was part of the soundtrack of life for us in those days. The singer was Mary Black and the record was No Frontiers. The title track was written by Jimmy McCarthy, and here are his lyrics:

If life is a river and your heart is a boat
And just like a water baby, born to float,
And if life is a wild wind that blows way on high,
And your heart is Amelia dying to fly,
Heaven knows no frontiers and I've seen heaven in your eyes


And if life is a bar room in which we must wait,
'round the man with his fingers on the ivory gates,
Where we sing until dawn of our fears and our fates,
And we stack all the dead men in self-addressed crates,
In your eyes faint as the singing of a lark,
That somehow this black night,
Feels warmer for the spark,
Warmer for the spark,
To hold us 'til the day,
When fear will lose its grip,
And heaven has its way,
Heaven knows no frontiers,
And I've seen heaven in your eyes


If your life is a rough bed of brambles and nails,
And your spirit's a slave to man's whips and man's jails,
Where you thirst and you hunger for justice and right,
And your heart is a pure flame of man's constant night,
In your eyes faint as the singing of a lark,
That somehow this black night,
Feels warmer for the spark,
Warmer for the spark,
To hold us 'til the day when fear will lose its grip,
And heaven has its way,
And heaven has its way,
When all will harmonize,
And know what's in our hearts,
The dream will realize


Heaven knows no frontiers,
And I've seen heaven in your eyes,
Heaven knows no frontiers,
And I've seen heaven in your eyes
My mother likes to recall the conversation I had with her when I called to say I had met Ginger. Mom says she asked what I liked about her and my first response was, “She has the most amazing eyes.” For over two decades now that has remained true. Whether in the depths of my depression or on the cusp of new adventures, it is the look in her eyes that has brought comfort and confidence. She is Scout and Amelia rolled into one, with a little Wonder Woman for good measure.

Why wouldn’t I come home with presents?



Peace,
Milton

4 comments:

Unilove said...

Congratulations... you have the rare gift of having True Love ~and~ recognizing you have it, and even more amazingly, you appreciate it! :)

Sometimes, Life can be both good and right :)

martha said...

I wish I knew your wonderful Ginger. You are both blessed.

Kelly B said...

She sure is wonderful and what a great tradition! I love you guys.

oklahoma city personal injury lawyer said...

Great song, great performance.