The Space Between Us

Illustration by Elizabeth Moreno

Don’t try to give me
all of yourself—
as if you would, as if
the wilderness
that bears your name
was yours to give.

Instead let’s live like
mountains: two worlds
rooted together but each
cutting its own shape
into the changing sky.

I’ll be the one to see you
radiant in the morning light,
and to watch as evening’s last glow
anoints your head.

I’ll be your companion
as the seasons paint you
green and gold and white
and green again.

And as the snows melt
and the rains fall,
carving ever deeper
the beautiful grooves of your being,
let them flow down into

the sacred space between us—
this quiet valley
our bodies make, where
deep waters
and the dark earth

take everything we’ve lost
and everything we’ve given
and make new life
for all who call this place

I recently published a new book that features this poem plus many others to accompany you through every season of life.

It’s called The Wilderness That Bears Your Name.

You can see all the details here:

This is the poem I wrote for my wedding. I spent months on it. And on Saturday I finally got to see it do its work in the world when we used it to open our wedding ceremony.

Elizabeth and I both wanted to stay away from talk of “becoming one” with its implications of giving up individual selfhood. Instead we saw our relationship as creating a sacred space between our two selves—a space where we can meet each other, support each other, and cheer each other on as we each explore, learn, and grow deeper into ourselves.

Those themes, together with our love of river valleys and mountains—and the beautiful venue nestled at the base of the North Cascades—helped shape the final poem. And Elizabeth designed the lovely image you see above to carry those same themes visually.