Once upon a time, a boy and a girl
(well, actually a man and a woman.
But they're not sure they have ever grown up…)
went on a date.
But it wasn't your regular date
which starts around dinner time and
ends when you pay the babysitter.
No. This was a BIG date.
One involving a long journey, three whole days away from children,
The woman was nervous, because she had never been away from her kids this long.
The man was excited, because he really wanted to hang out with his wife and share something with her that he loved.
Both of them wanted to go, and weren't sure they should leave, and they dithered a little…
But the kind, wonderful people
who had offered to be with their children,
and wanted to be with their children, look after them, enjoy them,
all said they really, really ought to go.
(And the children were unbelievably excited at the prospect of all those sleepovers!)
So the man and the woman
were free to leave.
They left on a Friday night.
They drove their van,
which they were going to sleep in,
like hippies, or University students,
like people living on the single income of a music teacher.
They drove into the night…
the woman beginning to relax a little bit more, and a little bit more
as the road unwound itself in front of them.
The first night
they slept in a little campground by a river,
and the woman saw a possum scuttling up a tree.
And she loved that she could see stars through the windows of the van
as she lay inside, beside the man she loved,
drifting off to sleep…
The next morning, they looked for the river, but it was hiding beside some trees.
They did see the moon, though…
still and pale in the sky,
worn to a nub by all that shining.
They drove on
and the rain began to come down
and the man sang along to and over the top of
the hip-hop on the radio,
jazz lines over the electro-drum beat.
When they got there, it was raining.
And it rained and
People dashed from venue to venue,
they were rocked into stillness
by the sounds
And when the man listened to the music
next to the woman he loved,
There was so much beauty,
everyone there sharing a single vision—
something that is as hard to pin down as a star or
a field-flung butterfly
And the woman heard things that made her shiver and smile with delight.
And she called her children every day and they were happy.
And at night she slept next to the man, and heard the rain dance on the van roof.
Like it knew how her heart was dancing,
how the man's heart was full,
And then, just like that, and after all that joy,
the festival was done
and it was time to go home.
(eating pizza at night by streetlamp, after the very last concert was over)
The man and the woman
drove and drove and drove and drove.
And sometimes the rain came, and the fog,
and the road curved and bent with the hills.
And sometimes the man and the woman talked and sometimes they were
As they carried the beauty
with their children.