I love winter’s early darkness, whirling snowflakes, and the frosted stillness of a white field.
Woolly sweaters are my friends.
I tolerate spring and count the days until summer ends.
But autumn’s charms are not lost on me.
In fact, a wedding this past autumn stays with me even now in a freezing Midwestern January.
I was driving along a country road when I noticed a bride and groom posing for a photographer in a soybean field, of all places. As I neared, the setting made sense in that trendy barn-wedding way.
The groom wore boots, black jeans, charcoal vest, and white shirt. The bride’s simple gown was white organza, yards and yards of the frothy stuff. She carried a bouquet of common garden flowers that looked freshly handpicked.
The joyful couple turned toward each other with all the easiness of wedding love. Photographs snapped and snapped again.
And the soybean leaves had newly turned yellow, the kind of yellow that burns riveting golden against a sunset.
Amidst all that perfection, a sudden wind blew in from the east, rocking the scene. The bride bent, one hand clutching her flowers closer while her other hand grabbed the swirling skirt. Regaining his balance, the groom’s hands reached for her veil: six feet of lace tugging against the pins, sailing toward the clouds.
It took all four hands to rescue the moment, the first of countless hard moments, moments that will not be so easily tethered.
No one wants to consider that on a wedding day.
But in the margins of their day, out there on the road, I knew.
And I was spellbound. That image, whether the photographer captured it or not, defined the heart of marriage, the art of marriage. Theirs. Yours. Mine.
The beginning is effortless. The day. The rings. The cake. Frosted happiness on clean plates.
But those unexpected winds buffet all couples. Repeatedly, over years.
Yet he rescued her lace, a wondrous configuration of delicate patterns invisible from a distance. Still, they held, those loops and knots of white cotton.
Lace is its own language.
Beautiful. Impossible. Tightly bound.