On Engagement and Growing Up.

Counting-Crows1I listened to the Counting Crows on the morning that I proposed to Naomi. I know for those who never got into them the Counting Crows are no more than a whiny, over emotional 90’s band. But for those of us who were hooked by August and Everything After, lead singer Adam Duritz provided a poetic glimpse into the pain and joy of relationships, regret and new beginnings.

counting_crowsOde to Melancholy could have been written by Duritz. I think him and Keats would have been best friends if they weren’t separated by a century of time.

I listened to the Counting Crows because they represent all the longings of my 20’s. The desire captured in his strained voice; “All my friends and lovers leave me behind and I’m still looking for a girl” echoes the why me of much of life’s disappointments.

Adam Duritz is 50 this year and from what I can gather is still looking.

I listened to the Counting Crows as a reminder of how far I’ve moved forward, grown up. It’s so easy to get caught up in the melancholy of life and find a sort of joy in the constant disappointment but ultimately that approach is kind of boyish.

The idea of marriage cuts through all of this – primarily because it’s a relationship that is not about you. As far as I can work it out, marriage doesn’t let you find joy in your own disappointments because the focus is the other person. To bring them joy and to help with their disappointments. It’s also about two people coming together with a purpose much bigger than just themselves – that is to serve God – to love him and to bless others in a way that you couldn’t do on your own. At least that’s what I get from the Bible about marriage.

And so I listened to the Counting Crows on the morning of the 8th as a farewell ritual.

When I got down on my knee at Clovelly head land and asked Na to marry me I felt excitement but I also felt a deep sense of responsibility. Getting engaged at 34 is different to 23. You know there are a hundred and one ways that your life will need to change and you know only some of them are going to be fun. The season of why me is over. Whilst there is a part of me that would love to stay up all night having beers with Adam Duritz and sharing stories about the ones that got away I think the seemingly eternal adolescences that the Crows represent has to come to an end.naomi and me

Naomi is a woman who is fun, spontaneous, emotional, godly, smart, patient (very patient!) and extremely beautiful. I never like her going home at the end of the night and I deeply desire to do life with her – and I don’t mean the mountain tops, I mean the daily’s – washing, vacuuming, cooking, tv watching, exercising and sharing Jesus with friends.

Adam Duritz has been a good companion but it’s time for someone real.


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