Enchanted Serenade

I had never been to Enchanted Rock, a majestic hiking area in the Texas hill country. I had a feeling it would be a magical experience when I finally went but I couldn’t have anticipated just how surreal it might truly be. Mitch and I took a picnic backpack filled with romantic treasures, including wine, cheese, and grapes.  We made our way up the “rock” with relative ease. When we got to the top, we placed a blanket under a small tree and enjoyed our snacks. It was a beautiful day – the weather was brilliant, Mitch and I laughed and had wonderful conversation, and we relished our time together while appreciating the spectacular view.

I introduced Mitch to my fear of heights that day. As we made our way back down the “rock,” I discovered that the surface was very slick and my fears kicked in as I developed images of sliding down to my death. Shyly, I asked Mitch to hold my hand as we made our descent. I grew hot at the embarrassment of not being able to climb down on my own. But, then, I looked at Mitch and his smile calmed my anxiety. I could see he was in no hurry and he was not only patiently holding my hand, but he looked happy.

The next thing I knew, we heard a trio of voices singing:

We were both young when I first saw you
I close my eyes
And the flashback starts
I’m standing there

On a balcony in summer air

You were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles

And my daddy said stay away from Juliet

And I was crying on the staircase

Begging you please don’t go, and I said

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone

I’ll be waiting all there’s left to do is run
You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess
It’s a love story baby just say yes

Then there was silence. We looked at each other,  smiled, and laughed softly. Then, coming from higher on the rock, a teenage boy called out, “that one is for YOU!” I looked at Mitch. “Are they talking to us?” I said. He shook his head yes.  So, after we clapped, I called out, “that was great – what’s next?” And the next song began…

I could stay awake just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
While you’re far away and dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
Where every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure

Don’t want to close my eyes
I don’t want to fall asleep
Cause I’d miss you babe
And I don’t want to miss a thing
Cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
I’d still miss you babe
And I don’t want to miss a thing

Mitch leaned over to me and said, “you do realize those are teenage boys…” I nodded my head. “When I was their age, I would have yelled – HEY, WHY DON’T YOU GET A ROOM? And, here they are, singing to us?” I smiled. I was stunned but loving having my mind taken off of my fear of falling and moved to this brilliant once-in-a-lifetime moment.

“What else do you know?” I asked the boys.  They chatted amongst themselves for a minute and then began…

Just a small town girl
Livin’ in a lonely world
She took the midnight train
Goin’ anywhere
Just a city boy
Born and raised in South Detroit
He took the midnight train
Goin’ anywhere

Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to the feelin’
Streetlights, people
Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to the feelin’
Streetlights, people

It was an incredible moment. After that, I heard those songs what seemed like daily. Mitch called me up once to share in the excitement that he had heard them in the same order on the radio. It was special. And, it was an experience I knew we’d never forget.

Shortly after our enchanted serenade, Mitch and I embarked on the challenging conversation encompassing the role our individual faiths play in our lives. We decided that our long term priorities were not aligned in this way, among others. When we reflected on the songs sung to us, we decided that Love Story summed up the happy beginnings of our deciding to date each other initially. Don’t Want to Miss a Thing signified where we were the day we went to Enchanted Rock, treasuring our time together, every second, since we probably both knew that our relationship would not sustain. We decided that Don’t Stop Believing could either refer to our religious faiths, telling us not to give up on finding someone who could be our partners in that area, OR, it could refer to not to stop believing that we would find what we’re looking for, regardless of faith. I think Mitch and I both realized that we enjoyed each other’s company immensely but, regardless of religion, we were not a match.

But, we’ll always have our enchanted serenade

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