We were married in my parent's living room at the old house in Virginia. My father bought us a house as a wedding gift. We were moving out of the state, heading South after the first of the year. We wanted our own house so he gave us one. We didn't want money spent on a big wedding. We wanted her parents, a few of our friends, my grandmother who was over 90, and a few other relatives of ours to attend. Many of those people are dead and gone, some we haven't seen in years, and others probably don't remember the day.
Some of my memories are that the biscuit timer went off during the ceremony. My father was cooking biscuits to stuff with Smithfield ham. The cake was made by a friend of the family. The dining room with the old Hepplewhite table that we still have in our dining room was filled with food. I don't remember eating anything. I know that I did because there is a photo of us cutting the cake together and eating some. I know that I was in a daze.
I remember feeling like it was our day though. A special day for us. I also wished that we could have a get away honeymoon, but we were both busy with finishing up our dissertations. So we went back to our little cinderblock house, made love, and then met with my in-laws and some other relatives for dinner. The special day was done and the reality of being married set in.
I think that we both were not only excited but wondering what we had gotten into. What would our lives together be like? We embarked on a journey that day, using the skills that we had learned and carrying along all the baggage that we had put together. Thankfully, we have honed our skills and discarded most of the baggage. We've learned to shape a life together. And we aren't the same kids that we were back then--having unreal expectations of each other and everyone else. Our sharp edges have been softened with each other.
Lines written for a thirtieth wedding anniversary
Somewhere up in the eaves it began:
high in the roof – in a sort of vault
between the slates and the gutter – a small leak.
Through it, rain which came from the east,
in from the lights and foghorns of the coast –
water with a ghost of ocean salt in it –
spilled down on the path below.
Over and over and over
years stone began to alter,
its grain searched out, worn in:
granite rounding down, giving way
taking into its own inertia that
information water brought, of ships,
wings, fog and phosphor in the harbour.
It happened under our lives: the rain,
the stone. We hardly noticed. Now
this is the day to think of it, to wonder:
all those years, all those years together –
the stars in a frozen arc overhead,
the quick noise of a thaw in the air,
the blue stare of the hills – through it all
this constancy: what wears, what endures.— Eavan Boland