Here’s what I’ve learned about life during the 56 years I have danced across this mostly inhospitable spinning ball of rock and water: It’s always about the little things. It isn’t about ceremonies, or holidays, or resolutions, or promises. It’s about sharing those finer moments, even if they are shrouded in uncertainty or pain.
It’s about the laughter and the tears. It’s about sharing surprises and overcoming tragedies, together. It’s about having somebody to hold you when you need to be held and leave you alone when you need your solitude. It’s about friends who know you, lovers who need you, family who protect you and those all-important quiet moments.
For me, it’s about being cast in a play opposite a young man half my age and discovering a kindred spirit. It’s about making a new friend, who quickly becomes a confidant, a lover and eventually a partner. It’s about spending ten years overcoming betrayals and shedding “friends” like old skin. It’s about saying “never again!” with so much passion and conviction it feels like truth, only to realize “never” is a very long time.
It’s about taking the time to be sure and acting spontaneously when opportunities present themselves. For us, it’s about returning to the beautiful city where it all started, ten years prior, and giving in to the spontaneity of acquiring a marriage license, while my best friend of almost 50 years is deputized so she can perform the ceremony.
It’s about tramping through Golden Gate Park, in the rain, so we can find the perfect spot to make it happen. It’s about discovering an ancient oak tree, in the middle of a meadow, on the edge of the forest and pledging my troth to the young man who changed my worldview.
It’s about words of love from my favorite author, Neil Gaiman, and rings exchanged and rice flung from a backpack. It’s about wandering the rain-slicked streets of a beloved city that never sleeps, ethnic smells rolling out through open doors and picturesque buildings fading into gentle mists. It’s about finding the perfect place to have a celebratory drink and discovering it is the exact place our hosts came some three decades earlier for their first date. It’s about all this and the moments that follow.
These are the things I’ve learned and continue to learn as the hours spin into days and the days spin into weeks and the weeks into months and the months into years. And now I have a husband I love deeply, and right now a lovely ocean view for our honeymoon. Everything is right in the world. Just so long as I remember the little things.