We are wed and honeymooned, and life continues on. When I reflect on our wedding day it's with mingled emotions. The things I prayed hardest for in the weeks preceding were good health and fine weather. Neither of these prayers were answered. In spite of ill health and foul weather, we managed to plight our troth (troths?) in some joy, but I have a lingering grizzle, not unlike my lingering cough, and the lingering drizzle outside, about my unanswered prayers.
It's quite unreasonable, I know. Especially when I think about the texts we chose and the words Alistair spoke over us. Our reading was Deuteronomy 11:8 - 21, and Al talked about the land we were entering as a land of hills and valleys, joy and sorrow. Joy follows sorrow, he said, as birth follows death, and spring follows winter. We promised to love each other in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in plenty and in want. Why shouldn't this unfaltering love in a faulty world begin on our wedding day? Why should I expect an eerie brightness to fall on that day when every day thereafter would be a pied beauty, a dappled thing?
I'm also coming slowly to see the truth of the poem we chose: Robert Frost's “The Master Speed.”
No speed of wind or water rushing by
But you have speed far greater. You can climb
Back up a stream of radiance to the sky,
And back through history up the stream of time.
And you were given this swiftness, not for haste
Nor chiefly that you may go where you will,
But in the rush of everything to waste,
That you may have the power of standing still -
Off any still or moving thing you say.
Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar.
Life is only life. A wedding day is not a special day. It is only the first day. The first of many travels, through hills and valleys, through winters and springs, together wing to wing and oar to oar.