Monday, October 27, 2008


If I can keep only one memory from our wedding day, I hope it's this: of Audra, dancing barefoot in the grass outside the church, whirling so her dress billows around her in a cloud of what looks like whipped cream. I'm standing nearby, watching her, although she doesn't seem to know it---for this moment she's alone. The afternoon light spills over her like a syrup, a languorous golden elixir specific to October, and she glows, delighted, laughing.

It's a relief to be able to play now, to relax. All day we've been unnaturally sober, bracing ourselves for the ceremony's bewildering procession of etiquettes and formalities. We did our best to make the thing our own (five little girls, the daughters of our friends, made a motley troupe of fairy-princesses, flinging themselves down the aisle ahead of us with immense good humor) but still couldn't help but feel a need to be on best behavior, just in case. Didn't tradition require it of us? An awe?

But now---so soon!---it's over. We're married; there's a party going on inside without us. Audra's slowing down, staggering dizzily into a pile of yellow leaves, she's reaching out a hand for me to steady her...and if I remember nothing else, I want it to be this---the act of reaching back.

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