Sunday, September 17, 2023


First there was a hurricane and then there was a wedding.

The wind blew all night and we waited to lose power but the power held and the wind died down and the rain never came. In the morning we drank coffee and readied ourselves for the wedding. Do you know that poem where the poet says he was surprised by joy? 

I can relate to him. A dark moment or a crisis, and all seems lost, but then someone hands you a warm cookie or you hear a bird calling to another bird or somewhere off in the background there’s a child giggling. 

My husband and I had driven twelve hours to get to the wedding. We talked most of the way. The logistics of the drive and what we thought the wedding would be like and would the hurricane hit us. We dissected an argument we had thirty years ago and an argument we had twenty minutes ago. 

Recently, we have discovered a secret about arguing where you keep talking even though you’re upset and want to shut it all down and stew in righteous anger at the other person. The secret is to hold hands and listen to each other until you are both talked out and you are both heard. The argument was over and we felt better. We listened to music. We looked at hurricane updates. 

We talked about the time we brought our son home from the hospital when he was born and we put his car seat on the floor and just looked at him and wondered to each other why the people at the hospital let us take him home. We talked about the time when he was three years old and he was drinking his red juice and he set his little cup down and said, "Mommy, my red juice makes me happy." And how was it possible that tomorrow he would be getting married. 

This wedding was a different kind of joy. Not the surprise kind but the slow-building kind that has been here all along but you forgot for a few moments and then remembered. 

I want to tell you about this wedding. These people. This place. But I confess that I also want to keep it all to myself for a while. 

For now, I will leave you with a wish, that today you may feel joy, both kinds, all kinds. 

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