Ever autumn, without fail, I feel the shift approaching. The air is crisper and the dew lies heavier across the grass. The colors of the palate splash through the woods announcing fall has crept in, edging summer into sight, only through the rear view mirror. Darkness lingers lazily into morning, as though it doesn’t want to leave us, and the sun must work harder to warm the earth. Even the day wants to retreat to bed sooner and so dusk arrives earlier and earlier and blankets us with nightfall The singing of crickets as the moon rises is further and further off in the distance and their song is replaced with the sound of acorns falling from above like a light, lingering rain.
And just like that, my marriage is interrupted.
If I had only known then, what I have come to understand now, perhaps I wouldn’t have resented the amount of time my husband spent away from me during the fall. In my younger years, I would feel the jealousy slowly trickling in and it would eventually smother me like a heavy, wool blanket. I was never happy for him that this time of year had finally arrived, but I only thought of myself and the bitterness consumed me. I was too young and too naive and too wrapped up in my own world to appreciate the qualities of a man who hunts.
I have learned a lot in the 33 years since I first met my husband. And, if you can find a way to embrace this amazing quality in your own man, you will soon discover that it is a trait not to be taken for granted.
The magnificence of a man who looks so forward to and loves something this deeply is only the beginning of what will carry over into your marriage. And the truth is, I now realize the value in what God created when he built a man who loves few things more than being surrounded by the beauty of stillness.
There is a unique quality of calm in a hunter. He is a man who can sit for hours and look over a vast valley of absolute emptiness on the quietest of days, and find complete fulfillment there. He does not need the busyness of the world’s noise, but rather finds serenity in this type of peacefulness. You will discover he has immense pleasure for your moments of silence together when no words are needed, yet volumes are being spoken as you lie against the warmth of one another during the night, while you fall into sleep, entangled in him.
He does not need to be walking the hard, cold marble floors of a famous museum staring at paintings to witness exquisiteness. He is a man who finds preference in the modest things the earth gives us such as a hawk soaring overhead or a squirrel scouring the wood line for food. These simple things are what he calls God’s masterpieces of art. The ability to see this type of beauty will spill over into your private times. And when it comes to loving, there is nothing he will worship more than the canvas of you.
He seldom gets lost because he studies the corners of the vast forest where the sun breathes light into a new day, and he knows the pathways of the moons rays as it closes out yet another. He has a keen eye and attention to detail and recognizes things that others would not, like the slightest differences along the outside row of a bending cornstalk. He is in tune with the forest even when the breeze whispers not a sound, and he hears what others simply do not. And, if you allow, he will help you unfold eloquent mysteries about yourself that you did not know even existed.
This type of man does not need to stroll up cement steps and swing open a heavy, wooden door and walk down the carpeted aisle and slide into a creaky pew to worship his Maker. He does not desire to be embraced in vibrant streams of color from the stained glass windows that shower the congregation. Rather, he allows the perfection from the simple land itself to act as his church and baptize him. He would rather sit high among the trees talking with The Almighty, in all of its vast glory and richness, overlooking what his God made and give thanks there. And when the day comes to close, and dusk seeps in from over the hillside, he, too, whispers in abundant gratefulness,“And this is good.”
The man who is prepared to walk miles alone, into the early morning darkness of the forest, only to anchor down during the most brutal climates, must have a true driving passion for what it is he loves. And that very kind of man will, without hesitation, endure the elements of any horrific storm the two of you face together. It is in those moments of danger that he will be your shelter and your light and your pathway to safety.