It all happened here, at our house, the proposal near the woods last June and the wedding in the backyard this April. Erik and Elizabeth were married at sunset on April 17, 2021. Father Matt Woollett delivered a beautiful spiritual ceremony laced in love that ended with a cunning quote from Rumi. He then pronounced them husband and wife and their “happily ever after” began at the end of a walkway Elizabeth has traveled her whole life from tiny baby bare feet to a married woman in glistening high heels arriving arm in arm with her dad and leaving hand in hand with her husband.

Weddings, one of the biggest events of time, I have discovered, take on a life of their own. Weeks and possibly months prior, plans are made, intricate plans like the colors and patterns of table tops and placement of candles and playlist and guest list and menu selections and the exact color choice of nail polish, but even with the most prepared weddings, they inevitably become as they wish, as they should be. By chance, a lovely lone cardinal somewhere in the citrus trees sang without request for Elizabeth and Erik’s ceremony and my uninvited hens cutely clucked with a bit of distraction during the vows and soon after the “I do’s” and the kiss, a springtime unsolicited drizzle was dispensed, a drizzle that kept the flowers plump and the beautiful wedding cake moist. It all expectedly and unexpectedly entwined to become their special day, their wedding made with love and anticipation but carried through on a wave of sudden magic tenderly landing in their hearts forever. With all of the visual beauty, steadfast help from friends and family, a few surprises, happy tears, heartfelt hugs and spilled wine, two people joyfully turned the page and began their life as one. Everything that happens, planned and unplanned, on this very special day, transforms into the unique and beautiful celebration that can only belong to that couple; it is theirs to remember and to treasure.

Needless to say, my days are slower now. I also have some fun news; I have a new washing machine! It is a Speed Queen, and I feel as though I have “arrived” at the summit of domestic hierarchy. As the beautiful month of May begins, I eagerly imagine hanging small colorful batches of really clean clothes on the line on early summer mornings and having quiet lunches filled with melons and sandwiches with summer tomatoes. And I imagine sitting down with iced tea in the middle of the scorching day reviving myself and looking forward to the cooldown of the evening while watching the summer sky. I imagine fireflies in the woods and honey from my bees. There will be dragon flies sharing my clothesline and green lizards walking on the rails of our wooden deck entertaining me when I take a break from the garden. My zinnia seeds will become long stem flowers to cut and put in small cherished vases near my kitchen sink and in July I will make fig preserves.

Soon after the first super moon appeared in the sky this past week, I once again stood in the field near Erik’s vegetable garden and watched as it rose above the familiar tree line in the woods, yet another reason I can never move from here.

I know exactly where the full moons rise and where the sun sets and how the woods look in spring and now, I will always remember my backyard as the place that holds the memory of a wedding that was magical.

PAM SHENSKY is a wife and mom to five.

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