Last weekend I took part in a special day. One of my best friends married the man she loves. Her story is at once inspiring, and crazy. She met him on a whim last summer, then visited him in Jackson, WY where he lives, then went on a whirlwind canoe trip with him on the Bloodvein River and came back engaged. When she told me about it I was driving my car and I nearly went off the road. I teared up with excitement, and then apprehension. It all was moving so fast, and as a dear friend I felt I needed to both support her and encourage her to slow down at the same time! I held back some of those feelings, knowing I was projecting my own concerns on to her. And I’ve watched over the last several months as their relationship has taken shape, evolved, and solidified in the weekend’s swearing of vows.
The whirlwind meeting, courtship, and nuptials is scary to me – because I just can’t and don’t operate that way. My risk aversion radar is way too strong. But watching her tread this path, I’m startled at the way I’ve been inspired. As I watched them dance their first dance, I was touched at their choice of song and the recognition of their myriad similarities. I had watched my dear friend date so many of the wrong men, to see her with someone who cared for her deeply and reflected so many of the things that she values and that make her unique was startling. I have watched myself and my friends morph and reflect their various partners, and it can be hard to discern when that morphing is truly them, or an attempt to fit into a role that their relationship requires in a given moment. When you see two people who do truly reflect and suit each other, however, there seems to me to be a clear radiating energy that comes from them. When I see Britta with Lee, she is more of the Britta I have known since I was 11 than she has been in many of her past relationships. It makes me smile.
To see all of this magic fall into place in the span of just a few short months has been confronting to my deep belief that hardy relationships take time to settle into meaningful rhythms and mutual understandings. It has reminded me that hardiness and grit in a relationship can come from a place of commitment in the face of uncertainty – a faith – that together is better than being alone even during challenging times. Seeing Britta and Lee jump in to a lifelong commitment, reminds me that faith and commitment to see something through can overcome many trials. As I drove to the mountains where the ceremony was held, I spoke with my Grandpa and he reminded me that he and my Grandma were married for 64 years, but when they wed they’d known each other just six months. He told me to pass along the message to Britta that “she had a lot to look forward to.” I smiled, and tears pooled at the corners of my eyes, because he identified my reluctance and reminded me to have faith in them. With his encouragement, I couldn’t help but reframe my mentality. I had, weeks earlier, invited Britta to borrow some pieces of jewelry that I’d worn at my wedding. She took me up on the offer and borrowed my hair piece, and a bracelet that belonged to my Grandma. Watching her walk down the aisle, radiant, with the bangle on her wrist I set an intention and a hope for them that a piece of the magic that carried my grandparents through 64 years, the grit and spirit they shared, was conveyed with Britta and Lee through the wearing of that bracelet.
The whole weekend reminded me of how quickly life can change. As I waited for a drink, I spoke to Britta’s bio mom. After having heard about her for years, I was thrilled to finally introduce myself. When I did, she immediately recognized my name, and asked if I was the one who had lived in Australia. She went on to tell me that she had read my blog and thought I was a wonderful writer. It touched me to hear that. I think of my blog as a place to share thoughts that are meaningful to me, but not otherwise relevant to most people outside of my life. To have someone who doesn’t know me read what I write, and enjoy it enough to say something years later is a real compliment. It encouraged me to revisit this blog, which has (sadly) gone unattended to while I have wallowed in the fog of baby brain. I am encouraged to continue to write, and reminded that life’s inertia is not inevitable. With decisive actions and commitment, with faith, we can each take steps toward what makes us happy and fulfilled.