I married him

It is said that the weather of Kauai is so variable that it can’t be predicted. To determine if it will rain or not, you need only listen for the song of the roosters to determine the weather for the day. If they crow, there will be no rain. If they’re silent, you should go back to bed too. Each morning leading up to our wedding day, I woke up to families of roosters singing their song around our cabin. Each day was perfection. Our wedding day came, and the chickens didn’t let me down. The day was perfect in every way, complete with blue skies and a light breeze. It was only later that I realized this is complete nonsense fed to tourists hungry for a sunny weather outlook. One day it rained for hours on end. They sang the same tune. But oh, the wonders it did for my nerves at the time.

this photo by the incredibly talented Rachel Thurston
this photo by the incredibly talented Rachel Thurston

On May 21, 2015, I married him.

We woke up before the sunrise. I savored a long shower in the outdoor stall which is perhaps one of life’s great indulgences. I watched the sun rise, while the wind whipped across the field carrying with it the smells of the mango trees and flowers to me. It was a dream. We wandered through the farm together, me picking flowers for my “bouquet” and him “taking it all in” as he says. The roosters crowed and the birds sang as loud as they could, or so it seemed. We had coffee on the porch together.

I spread my flower yield on the picnic table near the house. Inspiration abound, I kept finding blooms and adding them, taking some away and returning them to the earth below the mother plant. The process continued until I was pleased with the results. That, and until I cut my finger on a thorn… and realized I was left with less than 40 minutes to accomplish all the self-primping and pruning ahead before the last possible minute we could leave for Moloa’a Beach and still arrive on time.

I pulled the clips out of my hair that had been put there the night before by a caring stylist, flipped my head over and agreed to the results. I pulled on my dress and L tied it for me. He proclaimed me beautiful. I hurriedly put on some makeup and my jewelry, and gathered the vows we’d poured our hearts into, the marriage license and the other odds and ends needed for the morning. I think we were both very nervous. My god, did he look handsome.

We turned off Highway 56 at the Sunrise Juice Stand, and followed the winding road to the beach. I can still feel the anticipation now as I remember it. As we parked, I noticed our officiant parked across the road. We smiled and waved, and he greeted us with a big hug. We were instantly at ease with him as I knew we would be. Minutes later our photographer appeared and our crew was complete.

We walked together towards the beach, slipping our shoes off, and moved toward the ceremony spot we’d selected at the far left of the beach near the rocks. There wasn’t a soul on our sand, unless you count the fisherman on the jetty who later proceeded to tell L that I was the catch of his life.

This is where the whirlwind begins. Our officiant walks to find the best place to set up and we stand together in disbelief that it’s all finally happening. Luke joins him moments later and the officiant tells me to take some time and soak it all in and when I’m ready to join them. I gaze at the mountains, and at the sea. I am beaming with gratitude and can’t imagine anything grander. At last when I couldn’t wait anymore, I walked over to my groom.

The ceremony was all-encompassing and more beautiful than I could ever imagine. In between Hawaiian traditions and classic exchanges, we were given moments to pause for moments of reflection and gratitude. He read a poem we’d selected and something about that poem, the familiarity, the fact that we were there, on an island in the middle of the Pacific, having this person read these words aloud, words we’d selected from the confines of our kitchen a world away, made it all so shockingly real. We read  each other our vows, L first. Just as a wave of emotion would surge, more words would come that completely overwhelmed me with love. They’d been a secret up until that moment. We both ended ours with the same few lines.

The ceremony neared its end in a dramatic way as our officiant used a rock to break open a coconut: the fruit that satisfies all need. We offered the water to one another, the earth, and the sea. Before ending, we were asked to close our eyes and bring awareness to our breath, and create a place of deep remembrance. As we opened our eyes, we were given permission to greet our new life together. I signed the marriage certificate with my new name.

We’re married. We embraced and cried and soaked it all in until we burst. The day was more than anything I could have imagined and I’m still on a high that I just can’t release. I’m so grateful for this life, this person that loves me so much and I him. I truly can’t think of anything better.

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