Ten years ago this morning I woke without opening my eyes. I repositioned myself, rolling onto my back, and thought I detected brightness. Could it really be sun? Would the big reveal show a rectangle skylight in blue? Our wedding day was right smack in the middle of what they were calling an English summer. Tuesday’s Newsday 5-day forecast had shown showers, cloudy, mostly cloudy, MOSTLY SUNNY, mostly cloudy. At the beginning of July, my brother had found an online Farmer’s Almanac that depicted the entire month as a graph of squares in either yellow, gray, or black–to indicate the pleasantness or downright darkness of the days to come. There was but one bright eye in all the month: July 25.
We had jumped from gray square to gray square for weeks, preparing our home for the possibility of an “English” wedding. The ceremony, intended for Wyoming Beach in Long Beach, would consist of a small crowd—just in case rain drove us back to our small house. I pictured passages being read through the quirky shelved window that separated the living room and sunroom, my friends’ earnest faces at different shelf levels depending on their height. I envisioned the photographer wedged in the bathroom doorway, trying to create distance between himself and the huddle of attendants against the far wall—the very near far wall. I imagined the rattle and roar of the passing buses doing their best imitation of the waves. And I knew that it would be OK. But still, I held my breath as I opened my eyes.
Blue. Pure blue. Soft, yet strong and sure, like a bear hug that picks you up and carries you, places you right square where you wanted to be. And there I was, in our yellow morning, on the day we would marry. I reached for the two cards on my night table meant for this moment: One, written by my mother and the other my matron of honor. The second and third treasured moments in a trove of a day. How I wish I could go back and reopen those cards, still innocent of all that would follow.
Ten years later, so much is different. Even the skylight has seen change—it is in the same opening in the roof but a different room of our house.
Rather like us. We see through these same eyes, but they are both older and newer. We bring light to a new room, with renewed purpose. Our sun still shines, but from a different angle, on a changed world.
And so today, we renewed our vows on altered sands. Our beach has lost and is also more–like us. We wish blessings upon all those we have lost, and all who have made us more. You were with us today, the day our skylights were so symbolically sealed on our new home.
May we always be as clear as those windows were before the rains came. If the sky is blue, let us love the blue. If it is gray, let us love each other. Somehow, a gray square today seemed like exactly where we needed to be.