The ivory lace rustles, circling my feet and skimming the dirt path. I look up to the sky, which is rapidly morphing from blue to greyish-brown.
“If we’re going to move indoors, we’ve got to do it now,” the wedding planner urges me. “If we wait and it starts raining, there won’t be enough time. We’ll have to call it a night.”
They’re all looking at me, waiting. The planner, our parents, my brand new husband. I’ve been a wife for 15 minutes and already I’m in charge.
The wind blows wisps of hair around my face, it lifts our three-tiered cake into the air.
I wanted an outdoor reception in the middle of this cactus garden, in the middle of the southwest. I wanted to wow our Midwest and East Coast family and friends with the beauty of the desert, our home.
A monsoon storm wasn’t on my agenda.
“Let’s move it,” I say, peering around the corner for a glimpse of my guests who are holding down napkins and programs that yearn to take flight.
As workers begin frenetically packing up unserved food and unopened liquor bottles, the DJ comes jogging toward us.
He’d been preparing to introduce us as Mr. and Mrs., before the wind. Now he’s gesturing with his cell phone as he explains that he’s not just a DJ but also a pilot. He’s called the local airfield and has gotten the most up-to-date weather report.
“It’ll be windy for another 10 minutes, and then it’s going to pass,” he promises. “No rain.”
“DJ and weatherman; you’re really worth the money,” we joke.
The packing stops, the food comes back out, the guests look back and forth between the sky and each other.
We are introduced, and my husband takes my hand and pulls me to him. As the wind rushes past us, I barely make out the opening notes of the song we’ve practiced dancing to across our living room for months.
He bends down to whisper-yell something in my ear but the wind grabs his words and tosses them away before they reach me.
We are standing the middle of the garden, of the universe, and we are swaying together. Or maybe we’re not moving at all – maybe it’s everything else that is moving.
We don’t know what is ahead of us in all the years to come. We don’t yet know of the fear we’ll feel when our son’s heart rate slows right before he is born. We don’t know about job loss. We don’t know about short sales. We don’t know about living out of suitcases.
We don’t know what it’s like to have a child we haven’t even met who is living out in the world somewhere, out of our grasp and our protection.
We don’t know any of that. But each time in the years to come when I feel a need to ground my feet against the rush of life, the words will come back to me.
It’s just wind. It will pass. No rain.