I was going to write an “I hate taxes” post, but I just remembered that tomorrow’s the day that the masses bend over and let the floral, candy and greeting card industries have their way with our wallets, all because of an ancient priest who got himself whacked in the name of love. Not this year. Not me and Sexywife. No way. No flowers, no chocolate, nary a card. We’re on strike.

But I will write something sappy.

I was too chicken to say this at our wedding reception.

In 1997 I went on a fishing trip, one of the few in my life. I was wading in the shallow waters of Matagorda Bay, off the Texas Gulf coast, throwing shrimp for trout. The bay was peaceful. A gentle pre-dawn breeze softly waved the coastal grass, like endless rows of sheets billowing on a line. I was in a soft, hushed dance, the waves pulling me in and back, the water lapping in time against me. I moved slowly across the bay, casting, not really wanting to catch anything.

Then the sun started to rise.

I had a clear view, nothing between me and the eastern horizon but the low perimeter of the bay, far in the distance. The sky went from a mottled gray to purple. The grass began to take color, a deep, dense green at first, then lighter, as if being scrubbed right before my eyes. Every second the light reached farther across the bottoms of clouds, higher and farther across the sky, grasping and wrapping the earth and slowly spinning her to face the sun. Purple blossomed into red and orange, then yellow. All the colors from the light mingled for a few moments, in their own dance, with the gray and white of the clouds, with and a faint blue above.

I still think about that scene often. It was the most peaceful, beautiful image I’d ever witnessed.

Until one day in a city park, a thousand miles and another lifetime away from that morning, when I saw a woman with brown curly hair, bounding up and down a hill, trailing a little black lab. She was, it seemed, her own world, confident and peaceful and beautiful.

Now, almost seven years later, we have a beautiful daughter — who often keeps us awake at night and seldom leaves us alone long enough so we can have sex.

Advertisements