With the June sun pouring through the reds and the greens of the old, Baptist windows and the deep song of the organ silencing the shuffle of the church, I walked down the aisle wearing white, to release the arm of my father and take the hand of my husband. Just weeks before, I’d thrown my sky blue cap into the air and watched it float down like a leaf, riding the wind of expectation, possibility and youth. It was eight years ago that I stared into the eyes of the man who I began loving the year that I began driving, and promised to love him for the rest of my life. The pledge slid right off my tongue, for all of our blessings piled high and the slope of joy mounted steep. We stood together in all of our innocence and bliss at the top of blessing’s mountain, looking out into the great unknown, and vowed to love.
Eight years; it is both the blink of an eye and a lifetime, marked by constant taking and vowing. When joy abounds and freedom rings loudly, we take hands and vow to love. When the day to day overwhelms and the bills and the tantrums weigh us down, we take hands and vow to love. When pride and anger speak louder than forgiveness and grace, we take hands and vow to love. When laughter and lightness color our season, and adventure and hope stream through, we take hands and vow to love. And when death and grief overtake and loss and pain consume, we take hands and vow to love. On this anniversary, eight years after first taking and vowing, we stand together, innocence stripped and hearts shattered, at the top of blessing’s mountain looking out into the great unknown, and vow to love.