morning of the wedding day, I picked two big bouquets of flowers
which I put into large bamboo vases on each of the girls' little
tables, and swore Jamie to secrecy.
We swam for
a while. I wanted to be as clean as possible, when I saw my bride.
Naturally I would take another bath on the mountain top, but I had
not seen her for nearly a week, an agonizing week. I wanted to be
I started to
take a bedroll, but I decided the girls probably had thought of all
that. We grabbed a canteen and some Jerky, called Little Sheba and
Buster, and started the long agonizing trek up the mountain. Rascal
and a couple other dogs came along too. We had gotten as far as
Goat Field when I realized I had no idea what I was going to say to
Sarah, when we pledged our vows. Since we had no preacher to ask us
questions, we would have to do it all ourselves. She had obviously
had planned all this for years, and had everything planned to the
letter, except what I would say to her.
prayed silently. "Please help me know what to say to make this the
most precious and pleasing ceremony to you and Sarah."
about Sarah, my feelings for her, what I wanted to give her, and
vows I wanted to make. My mind flooded with words, beautiful words
that would please God, and the world's most beautiful bride.
peered over the rim of the crater, it was evident the girls had not
spent the week in the ravine, as we had supposed. They had been
scouring the jungle for flowers, and decorating the wedding scene.
Flowers lined the rim of the crater. Flowers lined both sides of
the trail around the crater. Flowers floated in the lake. The Top
of the World was decorated with flowers. On the very top was a
carpet of flowers on which we would stand to take our vows, and lie
to consummate our union.
I looked at
the girls, all grown up, standing on the other side of the lake.
Their Flower studded, long, brown, wavy hair hung loosely covering
their sun-bronzed bodies to the tops of their thighs. The
bridesmaids wore skirts of flowers visible below their hair to just
above their knees, and leis encircled their necks, hanging over
their hair to their breasts. Debbie was two or three inches taller
than the others, and Julie was in the process of passing petite
Sarah who came to just above my shoulder. They were well-developed,
young ladies, athletic, without an ounce of extra fat on their
bodies. There was no question of genetics. They were sisters,
having similar smiling brown eyes with a mischievous twinkle, long
noses, soft mouths with natural upturns at the corners, and dimpled
tallest and thinnest, naturally, was slightly longer and thinner in
the face. Her dimples were more like shadows until she smiled.
the fairest complexion of the three. Her hair had darkened to a
light brown, lighter than the others. She had the tiniest of a pug
at the end of her nose, and a dimple in her chin when she smiled, as
well as the ones in her rosy cheeks.
beautiful of all was my bride in her orchid wedding gown. Hundreds
of orchids had been woven together into the most beautiful of
gowns. A crown of orchids adorned her head. Her face was more
rounded. She had a double dimple on her right cheek that deepened
when she smiled. Her hair was longer and a few shades darker, and
she had a tiny brown mole on her cheek beneath the outer corner of
her right eye.
I smiled at
my miniature twin, who would soon catch me in size. He came about
to the top of my ear, and I was approaching six feet. [I learned
later.] His sandy hair was still a little redder than mine, and he
still had a few freckles. Mine had disappeared. We were both lithe
and muscular. The fuzz on his face was just beginning to darken,
where mine had almost hidden my face before he had scrapped and
nicked it, trying to shave me with a machete for the wedding. I
looked into his greenish eyes and smiled. "Are you ready?"
me? You're the one who's taking on a lifetime of trouble." His
broad smile turned on the light of orneriness in his eyes. "If
you're gonna back out, you'd better do it quick."
"Not on your
life, little brother."
think you've called me that since the crash."
because I usually think of you as my son, which is closer than a
brother." I hugged him. "Let's wash some of this dirt off, ladies
It was so
beautiful. I hated to disturb one petal, but we were so sweaty and
dirty from the climb, I could not present myself to so beautiful a
bride in that condition. In total awe, without speaking, or even
acknowledging their presence, we quickly slipped into the edge of
the pool, disturbing as few of the flowers as possible, and cleansed
ourselves before proceeding.
in their preparations, had not overlooked us. Jamie said nothing,
but looked a little embarrassed when Debbie hung a lei around his
neck, and Julie tied an apron around his waist. My bride stepped
behind the shelter momentarily, and reappeared with a robe of
orchids for me. "No one was allowed to touch this garment or the
Top of the World, but me," she whispered.
"How did you
do all this?" I asked.
help. I have planned it for months, but its a miracle. In all this
heat the flowers have hardly wilted."
is God's will." I whispered.
words were spoken. Jamie, still in shock over the transformation of
the mountain top, stood in awe.
into the eyes of my bride as she put a crown on my head. Our eyes
said it all. It was time. We were ready.
made rock steps to the Top of the World, so we would have no trouble
mounting the wedding pedestal in our attire.
others as our witnesses, we stood facing each other on the Top of
the World. I prayed, "Lord God Almighty, Lord of the universe, our
precious Heavenly Father, we stand here, king and queen of the
island, and mother and father of our family, before you and these
witnesses to formalize our union. We both believe you sanctioned
this union years ago when you brought us to this island. On this
rock where you have always met us, we present ourselves pure and
untarnished to each other before you in this holy ceremony. We ask
you to let us feel your presence, and to guide us in our vows, as a
minister would if there were one present. We also ask you to bless
our marriage, and any children that will come from it, as you have,
and do, bless those we already have."
"And let the
Sonlight, the S-O-N-light, of your Son, Jesus Christ shine down and
fill us with your love," Sarah continued, "and be our guide, as we
walk through life together. Lead us to make the proper decisions in
all things, but especially toward each other, and in raising our
children. Keep us from temptations that might arise that would
bring trouble to our marriage and family, and would be wrong in your
sight. We give ourselves totally to you. Keep us always in the
very center of your precious will. We ask these most important
things of you in the precious name of your Son, and our Savior and
Lord, Jesus Christ."
asked, "are you sure in the depths of your heart that you want to be
married to me? Have you thought about, the years ahead of us, and
the trials and struggles that will come? Have you considered my
short comings, and are you willing to put up with them?"
considered all these things, My Love, and from the depths of my
heart, I desire above all else, but to be in the will of God, to
love you, and to be your wife throughout eternity. I promise never
to look at another man with lust in my heart. Now I would ask you.
Have you considered all the same questions you asked me, and do you
still want to be my husband; to be a father to my children. Will
you promise, to the best of your ability, to provide a home and the
necessities for me and our children? and most of all will you
promise to be a Christian, God-fearing example before me and our
children as long as you live."
I pledge all
that and more. I promise, also, never to look at another woman with
lust in my heart. You will remain the queen in my life throughout
eternity, but will you accept me as your king, and the head of our
home, under God? Will you subject yourself to me and my decisions?
Will you, to the best of your ability, stand by my side as my help
mete? Will you be a Christian, God-fearing wife to me, and mother
to our children? And be a Christian example before us? Will you
watch over me as I lead our family, and lovingly correct me when I
am in error, or you see me stray from the perfect will of our
heavenly Father as long as you live?"
Yes! I will! I make that pledge from the bottom of my heart."
accept you as my wife." I slipped a bamboo ring from the end of my
little finger, and onto hers. "And I give you this ring as a token
of my love. May it always remind us of the vows we have made to
each other, today, before God and these witnesses."
I pulled my
wife to me. As we stood in each other's arms, I prayed, "Almighty
God, Lord of the Universe, Our loving Father, you have heard our
vows to each other, before you and these witnesses. Therefore,
feeling your blessing upon this union, I now announce to all present
that we are now no longer two, but one in body and spirit, husband
and wife, with all the privileges and responsibilities of such a
union. Now I relinquish my position as head of the family to you,
and subject myself to you, and your will in all decisions. We are
still very young, and we will make mistakes. If I stray from this
vow, Father, remind me and bring me gently back. In Jesus' Name I
pray and make this confession. Amen." I turned to our
witnesses. "I will now kiss my wife, Mrs. Timothy Allen
We kissed in
a long embrace to the cheers and applause of the others, and the
barking of the dogs.
down, physically from the Top of the World, leaving our hearts
behind, to be hugged and kissed repeatedly by our family.
said good-by to the wedding party, we stood in a familiar prayer
circle as each of the others asked God's blessing on our union, and
we prayed for God's blessings and protection for them. We said
good-by and they left us, leaving only Little Sheba and Prince to
care for our needs.
were gone, we returned to the Top of the World to complete our
marriage in private. We did more surely than ever, see through each
other's eyes, feel each other's feelings, and think each other's
nearly dark when we came down from the Top of the World to bathe in
the flower studded lake, and prepare our first meal as husband and
wife. The shelter was filled with fruit and vegetables, and the
dogs had brought us a rabbit, but had not disturbed us.
We stayed on
the mountain for three weeks. I would have stayed longer, but Sarah
said, "I must go! Tomorrow will be the time for me to go to the
"I am your
husband, now. You know I love you. Can't you tell me what is so
embarrassing that you have to leave me so soon?"
As she lay
in my arms, she explained the details of the girls' embarrassment.
I understood for the first time that their action was necessary,
since there was no other way to conceal it. I understood, but I did
not like the thoughts of losing her every few weeks.
We left our
honeymoon resort immediately after lunch, and made a leisurely hike
down the mountain. Debbie and Julie had already gone to the
ravine. Jamie had left a note written with the red berries on the
table rock that he would be at Lake Four or in the cove. He
expected me to join him when Sarah went to the ravine. Before they
left, they had filled the west room, and covered the bed with
flowers. Sarah was ecstatic that we would have our first night in
the cave as man and wife alone. Jamie had not been gone long.
There was a blazing fire, on the fire rock, the goats had been
freshly milked, and our supper was dressed, ready to be cooked.
into the lake, but that was the end of the diving or running back up
to the patio for that day. We swam and played, teased each other,
had water fights, and generally enjoyed each other in the lake until
the sun had set. After that, we fixed our supper and moved one of
the double wide lounges I had made to the patio. We watched the
bats, which seemed to applaud our marriage, come out, and the
beginning of a star lit night. We enjoyed the beautiful evening and
each other, and tried not to think about the morrow, when we must be
parted for the first time.
Leonard H. Hall, Sr.