Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Halfway There…A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there lived a princess. We’ll call her Tracy because…why not? Princess Tracy lived in the State of Singleness. No one in Singleness was married, because they were, well, single. Many people living in Singleness tried to escape that State as soon as possible. However Princess Tracy wasn’t in a huge hurry to leave Singleness. She enjoyed her life there. It was, after all, the State where she was born. She’d lived there all her life, and sometimes, she secretly pitied her friends who fled the State of Singleness at a young age. Living in Singleness, after all, had its advantages, and by lingering there, it had afforded the princess many opportunities to grow and learn, to travel, and most importantly to know herself well.

During her years living in the State of Singleness, the princess saw many of her friends move away. While she was a little sad to be left behind each time one of them left, she was always happy for them, and wished them well on their journey as they crossed the river. You see, the State of Singleness is bordered by the State of Marriage. They are separated by the rushing and dangerous River Courtship. All anyone from Singleness had to do in order to move away was find another person from Singleness that they really loved, and they then had to cross the raging River Courtship together. Couples from Singleness crossed the River Courtship in any number of ways. Some rented speedboats and jetted across it so quickly that they really missed the beauty of the journey. Sometimes those couples would walk along the banks of the river and wonder why they didn’t tarry there longer. Others jumped on a raft and rode the rapids of the River Courtship for years and years. Usually, that got old and they would get motion sickness, and eventually make their way to the banks of the State of Marriage a little bedraggled from the long journey, but happily refreshed by their newfound citizenship. Occasionally, a couple would fancy themselves good swimmers and they would brave the dangerous waters without anything to keep them afloat. That was such a hit-or-miss method (the currents of the River Courtship are very strong) that most couples avoided it altogether, as the outcome was never certain. Usually, the couple would arrive on the shore of one State or the other choking up water that had gone down the wrong pipe.

The most sure-fire way to make it across the River Courtship was via Dating Bridge. Dating Bridge was the route most of Princess Tracy’s friends had taken in their journey from The State of Singleness to The State of Marriage. It seemed the safest bet for most of the couples leaving Singleness, because it had several checkpoints along the way--checkpoints that included phone dates, coffee dates, dates to meet friends, dates to meet family members, dates together, and even dates apart to check in with oneself along the journey. The interesting thing about Dating Bridge, though, is that it is a bridge without guarantees. Princess Tracy was perplexed by the number of times she and so many others from the State of Singleness had begun journeys across Dating Bridge only to find at one of the checkpoints that a big red flag would begin waving as a sign appeared reading, “Proceed with extreme caution. Recommendation: Return to the State of Singleness ASAP.”

One day, the princess met a handsome knight. We’ll call him Sir Suitor because…why not? He was blonde and tall with blue eyes and broad shoulders. He was, in the words of the princess, “totally yummy”. In addition to his impressive physical attributes, the knight had a warm and noble heart. It was a heart of integrity and character. A heart that Princess Tracy believed she could trust. As the princess got to know the knight, she was so taken by him that she found herself thinking with more and more confidence that she would be willing to leave the State of Singleness and cross the dangerous River Courtship with Sir Suitor. One lovely Saturday, Sir Suitor surprised the princess with a kiss and asked her to be his girlfriend. In a pleased daze, the princess obliged the knight, and with that, they began their journey across Dating Bridge. They passed the initial checkpoints in flying colors. Dinner dates and coffee dates and phone dates every night only confirmed for the couple that their feelings for each other were true. Other dates with friends and family further confirmed what the couple felt deep in their hearts. The couple even took some time to be apart for three weeks, and their conclusion was the same. This was love, and they both knew it.

One crisp autumn day, the couple was strolling across Dating Bridge hand-in-hand, when they stopped to take in the view. The waters of the River Courtship sparkled below, reflecting the sun’s happy rays. Suddenly all was quiet. As Sir Suitor and the princess looked around, they realized that they were halfway across the bridge. They smiled at each other as their stomachs did mini flip-flops. They talked about how far they had come in the short time they had known each other. They marveled at how close they had grown. Neither had made it this far across the bridge without red flags waving, sirens blaring, or loved ones shouting “Beware!”. They only felt peace. They talked and confessed that they both wanted to continue on their journey to the State of Marriage, and they continued across the bridge.

After only a few more steps, the architecture of the bridge changed. The first half of the bridge was wide and paved, and pretty easy to cross. But now the bridge grew narrower. For a while, the two could still walk side-by-side, but soon Dating Bridge was single file with no railings. Sir Suitor walked in front of the princess, making sure each step was safe and offering his hand to steady her. Once or twice the princess looked down and shuddered because the raging waters were so far below. She had fallen from the bridge once before, and she closed her eyes tight, trying not to remember. Sir Suitor whispered to the princess in his loving and steady voice, “Open your eyes, sweet princess. It’s going to be okay.” She opened them, and looked at her knight, and she tried not to be scared. After taking a few more steps, the sidewalk narrowed into a tightrope. It seemed that the rest of the couple’s journey to the State of Marriage would be riskiest part of all. “Can’t we zoom across this last part like a zip line?” the frightened princess asked her knight. Sir Suitor replied with his steady gaze, “The journey cannot be rushed.” The princess insisted that there must be some way. The sound of the threatening waters below taunted her. Sir Suitor heard the sound of the river, too. The knight and the princess looked each other square in the eye. Both knew that the tightrope was a kind of a test. Only the knight knew that time spent on the tightrope, steadily moving closer and closer to the shore was the safest way to arrive on the banks of the State of Marriage. Princess Tracy was skeptical, but she loved Sir Suitor. And she trusted him. Both trusted in the King, who ruled over both States with great care. They knew that it was really His loving hand that had sustained them on their journey all along, and that only His hand would bring them safely to their new home.

14 comments:

beenzzz said...

Cool post! Yeh, relationships can be scary, but it sounds like you have a wonderful guy. Hang in there and don't be frightened. I'm sure you already know it's meant to be. :)

Laura said...

*wipes a tear* :)

Ally Bean said...

Very good story. Is it based on something real by chance?!! ;-)

Buttercup said...

What's the tightrope part? What's the tightrope part? You've left me in suspense? Is it the getting to the decision? Is it feeling funneled into that option? Is it wedding planning? Tracy!!

Tracy said...

Hi Buttercup! The tightrope represents the last part of our courtship leading up to making the big decision. It feels a little scary because of the high degree of vulnerability we have with one another without the promise of marriage. Simply said, the stakes are higher.

I most definitely do not feel like I am being funneled toward marriage unwillingly. I have never been happier. Never have I felt so committed to someone and still felt so free all at the same time. I am blessed with a wonderful relationship!

Cherry said...

The River of Courtship certainly can be scary. I'm glad you have been feeling safe on the bridge. It's easy when you have such a strong, wise and caring knight to guide you.

Great story!

J said...

The thing is, that the river courtship can be invigorating and exciting as well as scary...so if you should happen to fall off of the tightrope, and into the water, you can swim together to the shore of the State of Marriage, and have a hot scene like "From Here to Eternity". ;)

I'm glad you stayed awhile in Singleness. It's a pretty great place to be. I don't miss it, I like the State of Marriage. But I didn't rush, either, so I was ready to move on.

Maya's Granny said...

It sounds like your journey is proceding wonderfully. How delightful.

Don Boscoe said...

Great Bedtime Story... But don't forget anytime there's a Knight and a Princess there has to be a Dragon!!

Autumn's Mom said...

That was so beautiful Tracy. I hope you both have a very happy ending :)

J said...

I forgot to mention yesterday how well written I thought this was. I really enjoyed reading it. :)

ML said...

This is beautiful! What a wonderful way to express your journey.

By the way, I was in a state of Singleness for a loooooooong time. I never regretted it for a moment. I waited until the right person came along and it was worth the journey because I now enjoy the State of Marriage.

Amber said...

What a sweet post and fun read! Made me reflect upon my days of Singleness and made me even more grateful for my lack thereof now!

Buttercup said...

Tracy, I just read your response. That's so wonderful. I'm very happy for you!