Looking east from the window of our motel room, I watched the fog burn off. It reminded me of all those years ago when I woke up in this bed which I slept as a child. I was no longer a child. I was a grownup, thirty-one years old. I was ready to head out into the world as an adult. By the end of the day I would be married.
By every logical measure, this was forever ago. I made that promise, so forever it will be. From time to time, I confront those ideas of always and never and they frighten me. They are the ones that put a crimp in this hose that goes on forever. They are the words that mean the brakes have come on, sharply.
There were no breaks back then. Full speed ahead, into the abyss. If I knew then what I know now, I might have whispered into my own ear: Listen. Those people surrounding you on this hillside are your support. There are examples of family and friendship and love and trust. Take them with you in your heart. Take them with you when things are tough. When it gets late at night remember that meadow full of people dancing. Glasses raised, toasts and pronouncements made. I live each day in the forever that those people imagined for us.
Me and my wife.
How could I have possibly known back then what forever was? When the morning came and the clouds sat there, so quiet and still. When I got dressed and drove to the mountains where I would make all kinds of promises that would lead me to the brink of eternity, what was going through my head?
I don't remember anymore. What I thought back then were the thoughts of a single man. A warehouse manager. Not a teacher. Not a father. Not a husband. Plenty of my friends had embarked on this voyage before me. How hard could it be?
As hard and as rewarding and as sad and joyful as anything I had ever endeavored to do. I had no way of knowing what that forever was going to feel like. But I wanted to find out. And now the fog has lifted, and another day begins. Heart full and eyes wide open. Happy to have taken that step into the mist.