Ancient History

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The honey. The moon.

Our little Honda pulled away from the curb and suddenly I was self-conscious.

It was late on a Saturday afternoon as we drove through town. Every time a red light halted our progress toward our new apartment I thought of the people in the cars next to us. If they glanced over, they would see a guy in a tux and a girl in a white gown and veiled crown. The brown specks covering us once composed a hefty bag of birdseed. They would know we were married. Just Married.

We arrived at the apartment (he had been living there for about a month, I was still living at my parents’ home). Hubby opened my car door and we walked up the sidewalk. I thought of our new neighbors watching us and grew more self-conscious, especially when my groom opened the front door, snatched me and my yards of silk and tulle up into his arms, and carried me across the threshold.

He put me down and I looked around. Covering every available piece of furniture and the floor was his laundry. His wet laundry. Everywhere. I walked into the bedroom. His wet clothes covered the bed. They hung in the bathroom.

We were supposed to be getting ready to leave for our honeymoon. I had my bags waiting at the apartment. The plan was to change into more mountain-friendly clothes and then leave for Ouray, in the San Juan mountains of southwestern Colorado. Instead, we shuffled wet laundry around to expedite air drying.

I’ve been married for three hours and I am already doing laundry…

To be fair to hubby, he wasn’t clinging to his bachelor past or being a jerk. The dryer at our apartment complex was no better than an off-brand discount store hair dryer. He started his laundry early in the morning, thinking it would be done. By the time he was supposed to leave for our photography session, the clothes were still very wet. He didn’t have a choice. He was so apologetic it was hard to get terribly mad. In fact, I knew sorting laundry in my wedding gown would be something I would laugh about someday.

Eventually we were able to change our clothes and leave for the bed and breakfast hubby booked for the night. clinging to each other
It was dark when we arrived in Ouray. The moon was high in the sky, illuminating the mountains around us with the quiet, powerful assistance of twinkling stars. Our room was tiny, but utterly charming. It was furnished exactly like a Victorian mountain cabin—picture a fine lady in a feathered hat from the East Coast, circa 1890, marrying a grubby wild-eyed gold miner. We were in their oft-used bedroom.

Our bed and breakfast had its own private hot springs pool, and we seemed to be the only guests. We took a moonlit swim in the hot waters. All around us were the earthy sounds and smells of the wild—waterfalls, wind and wood smoke, cold rocks, steamy waters, and sheer cliff faces. I didn’t cry at my own wedding. I cried at the awesome display of power and creation that surrounded my new husband and I that night. We were cradled by sublime beauty, a divine way to begin our lives together.

Before midnight on our wedding day, we worked together at an unpleasant task and we played together in a pool. We laughed and we cried. We were proud and we were shy. We were now husband and wife tasting the sweet and basic nature of honey, created by humble workers and the majesty and mystery of the far-off moon, the future, power bigger than both of us…Earth and Heaven meeting in two crazy kids in love.

The honeymoon is never over.

7 comments to The honey. The moon.

  • Heather (thequeenbeam)

    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL Gretchen. Now back to read it again.

    Oh, and I love the visual of a new bride entering the wet-laundry apartment. Hilarious.

  • Russ Eldredge

    I agree with Heather. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! You are not only gifted in writing, but in the ability to see and grasp the amazing things in life that many people never quite notice.

  • I wish you would write a book. I would love to have your writings in a book that I could reread whenever I wished. Have you read Madeleine L’Engle’s books about her life? That is what your writings remind me of, but often better. And I’m so happy to know you, in a cybery kind of way.

  • Awwww Gretchen…how beautiful! I can just see the beautiful princess bride walking into her happily ever after to find it filled with her prince’s wet laundry – at least it was clean! It’s so nice that you guys are still enjoying your honeymoon…

  • This is beautiful, Gretchen. Thank you. I also wanted to comment on someone else’s comment about “The Wedding” (or maybe it was you who said it?) Something to the effect of how young you both look. I was 22 when I got married and my husband was 21. When I see those photos I think, “Ohmygosh, we are just kids.” Then the next 16 years flash before my eyes and I think, wow, that could be my daughter and I think I might have a heart attack if she married so young. No wonder our family seemed a bit bewildered at our engagement. We thought we were mature and knew it all. They, and rightfully so, were terrified for us. Thanksfully it has all worked out. Thank you again for sharing all of these wonderful stories of your past and present. I agree with Laura. Write a book and I’ll buy it!

  • mopsy

    Thanks everyone. It was a lot of fun for me to look back and remember those days.

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