Rising and writing the date in my notebook, I see that 62 years ago my mother married my father. This will be my mother’s seventh wedding anniversary without him. Today she will take the champagne of celebration to another couple’s house to celebrate their anniversary, married the same day, one year apart, each standing in the other’s wedding.
I imagine my mother now, walking the aisle in a dress borrowed from her sister-in-law, carrying a bible with a magnolia blossom – her faith and beauty represented there – moving toward my father. They left that day in his shiny new maroon car, their clothes full of rice, and did not get far down the road before my mother wanted to stop to eat. All that work of getting married had made her hungry.
The immensity of my gratitude for the yes they said to each other, my mom and my dad, rises to the trees towering above my deck in the cool morning air. The birds catch it and call it out to each other, hundreds of songs tossed from tree to tree, each a player in the morning band, warming up its own instrument like the cacophony before the symphony. The squirrels leap in faith across narrow branches, sending me signals, “Why do you doubt that you will be held? See me soar? See me land? Hasn’t it always been so?” I bow to their confidence.
How many generations risked love to bring me to this morning? Leaped onto a shaky branch and grabbed hold? My existence is a miracle of faith; each life a testament to possibility.