On October 10, 2015 the late afternoon weather was perfect at Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison, Virginia for the wedding of Emily James and Johannes Harkema. There were a lot of Europeans at this gathering. The Harkema family flew in from the Netherlands.
Family and friends are often asked to participate in a ceremony. Sometimes a talented friend or sibling will be asked to sing. Sometimes a family will have multiple musicians, and form a band for this one-time special occasion. Most certainly, readers will be found to give diversity to the ceremony.
On this day among the participants was Poet David L. James, Professor of English from the Orchard Ridge Campus, Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Dr. James is Emily's uncle. He wrote and delivered a special poem entitled "Our Hope."
With the permission of Professor James, and for the first time in print for public enjoyment, please find the very personal words written for Emily James on the occasion of her marriage to Johannes Harkema.
OUR HOPE for Emily and J.J., Oct. 10, 2015
it's easy to see
the love in your eyes, in your faces.
we can even feel
the love in your hearts, beating
just under the skin.
but it's the love six, ten, seventeen,
twenty-nine years from this very day-
like a well-worn pair of shoes,
like your favorite ripped ball cap,
like that shirt you will never throw out,
thin and frayed, stained down the front,
it's that kind of love
we hope for.
love that won't let go in any storm,
that sits up with you late at night
when you're sick,
a love that forgives and understands
and steers you back when you lose your bearings
and drift away.
it's a love that plants itself
in your heart
and branches through the blood stream,
like ivy wrapping around the ribs
and hip bone, down the arms and legs
until you can't imagine a world
without each other,
without his hand around your waist,
without her laughter in your ears,
that's the love we want for you,
a love that lifts you
into the sky like it's normal,
like it happens all the time,
and when you look ahead, all you can ever see
is the future smiling in the distance,
waving for you
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Sincerely ... Reverend Elisheva