September 5, 2009
I am a happily married man!
I enjoy my wife and our life together. Today I made reservations for us to return to our honeymoon cabin in Arkansas next March for our 20th anniversary. I’m filled with joy over it.
I have a photo which I took on our honeymoon. It sits on my desk. It’s a reminder of many things for me, but it serves primarily as a memorial to joy, overcoming fear, and commitment for the long haul.
Married just a few days and exploring Eureka Springs, Arkansas, we drove by an observation tower. My wife pointed and exclaimed, “let’s go look!”
I turned around and parked. Afraid of heights, I studied the tower and noticed the first platform about 15 feet above the ground. I could do that. I expected we would stop there, look, take a picture and return to earth.
Robbie hurried across the parking lot and started up first. I followed her carefully, walking slowly up to the first observation level.
She wasn’t there!
Instead I heard her running up the metal steps to the top. I faced a dilemma. I faced a critical decision: “Do I stand here and wait for her to come down (and look like a wimp) or do I venture after her to the top?”
I often consider how current events will impact my future. I knew, if proven a wimp on my honeymoon, I’d never feel good about it. I swallowed my fear and with both hands grasping the stair rails I slowly climbed to the top.
A few minutes later, with the tower swaying in the wind and my stomach knotted up, I stepped slowly and gently from the last step onto the platform at the top of the tower. Robbie was leaning out at the edge looking across the valley. We were alone at the top of the world.
“Come here,” I said, standing near the stairs trying to hide as much of my terror as I could, “and kiss me.”
We kissed. I held my old Pentax camera out at arms’ length, pointed the lens toward our kissing faces, and I tripped the shutter. “Gotta go,” I muttered in fear and started slowly and carefully back toward Earth. In my opinion, it’s the best photo I’ve ever shot.
The angle, the lighting, the wind … it’s an excellent photo. She’s taller than me in the photo because I was hunkered low near the stairs. The wind is blowing her hair in my face. We’re captured against a beautiful blue sky. The photo is in a gold frame in a red heart-shaped mat with two doves cut into the mat’s upper corners.
It’s a picture of swirling, giddy, joy. Just the two of us kissing, both high, on top of the world on a beautiful, breezy, blue-sky day. She, full of energy and possessed of all graces, overflowing with the excitement of a newlywed, and filled full of hope for a splendid life ahead. I, light-headed at the height of it all, dizzy, holding on to her, the only sure thing I find to hold at the top of the world, up near the clouds.
I love that photo because it’s a metaphor for all that marriage has been for me – the daily opportunity to climb happy towers with my wife – living high on love on the top of the world. You may think I gush, but I tell you, it’s true!
I am one happily married man!