“The Holly And The Ivy- Mannheim Steamroller.” YouTube. YouTube, 10 Dec. 2012.
THE LINK BETWEEN MUSIC AND STORY:
Twenty-four years ago today, this song was one of several that comprised the prelude music at my wedding. It may seem a strange choice to have The Holly and The Ivy played at a wedding in June, but there was a reason.
My husband and I met at college. The first “off campus” date (other than taking a walk or going rollerskating) was to see A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. It was a special night, and this song reminds me of that night.
Another thing that this song reminds me of is the time of year when my boyfriend finally made me “officially” his fiance. We had known we would marry for some time, but it was on COLD winter’s night during our Christmas holidays from teaching, as we took a short walk in a park, that he asked me to marry him.
And that brings us almost to the story excerpt from a book published one year ago today — For Peace of Mind. The dedication of this book reads:
To my husband, the love of my heart
It is the first book I dedicated to him, but not the last. He is the hero of my love story and as such really could have every book dedicated to him since he is the one who has taught me what it is to be loved truly and completely. And it is his support and belief in me that has led (or is that pushed 😉 ) me into publishing my stories and continuing to follow my passion for writing.
Ok, now to the excerpt. This is the scene where Darcy, on a cool night in December, takes Elizabeth for a short walk in the garden at Netherfield and makes their betrothal official.
EXCERPT FROM For Peace of Mind:
Elizabeth pulled her shawl a little tighter around her shoulders and rubbed her injured arm as she watched the carriages pull away from the front of the house.
“Are you well?” asked Darcy. “Is your arm paining you?”
“I am well, Fitzwilliam. My arm is just a little sore from yesterday.”
“We have a small Feast of Stephen for the staff at Longbourn each year. The ladies of the house prepare the meal. I think my arm is just sore from the stirring and washing. Nothing a bit of rest and Charlotte’s tea will not cure. Do not worry, sir.” She laced her arm through his and snuggled closer to him than was entirely proper.
“It is a warm night for December,” commented Darcy. “Would you care for a quick turn around the side garden? It is in view of the drawing room.”
“I would like that very much, sir. I was getting tired of sitting in the same attitude for so long and since Miss Bingley is not here to escort me about the drawing-room, I shall have to fall on your mercy.”
Darcy laughed. “I am glad Miss Bingley is not here, Elizabeth.”
“As am I.”
They had come to a bend in the path leading past a stand of tall bushes surrounding a sitting area. Darcy pulled Elizabeth off the path and behind the bushes. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her gently. Stepping back he reached into his pocket and drew something out.
“I spoke to your father.”
Delight filled her eyes, but he placed a finger on her lips so he could continue without interruption.
“My love, you hold my heart. Though I faltered in my behaviour and disparaged with my words upon our first meeting, I believe you have held it since then, and it shall never truly be mine again ─ nor do I ever wish to have it returned.” He opened his hand revealing a band of gold engraved on the outside with entwined hearts and flowers. “Elizabeth Bennet, would you do me the honour of standing at the end of a court under a gauge with me and promise to be my wife?”
She placed her hand on top of his open one. She blinked back tears and nodded. “Fitzwilliam Darcy, I love you with every piece of my being and shall continue to do so for as long as I live. I would be honoured to be your wife.”
“My father gave this ring to my mother on their betrothal. It is inscribed. Love of my heart.” He placed the ring on her finger and a kiss on her hand before drawing her to him and giving her a long and passionate kiss.
“Are you cold?” he asked when he felt her shiver in his arms.
“No,” she said softly, “But I think we should go inside anyway.”
“Is something wrong?” asked Darcy in concern.
“Nothing a marriage will not fix, sir.” Elizabeth gave his hand a tug, urging him to follow her back to the house. “Might I suggest a short engagement,” she threw over her shoulder.
“Oh,” was all Darcy said as he followed behind her, a very satisfied look upon his face.