[all photos by Lisa Berry]
The day was comprised by a series of extreme emotions. Trembling and twitterpated (pre-ceremony). Blissfully, giddily happy (during ceremony). Tearfully thankful (during toasts). As soon as one feeling grabbed ahold of me, another yanked me away, like a spinning teacups ride of emotion. Flipping slowly through our photos, I relive each heady moment.
And yet, it is one particular part of that day to which my mind returns, again and again. Following the ceremony, as our guests made their way up the hill from the church to the reception, Stefan and I hung back, just the two of us and our stealthy photographer, Lisa.
Strolling along Benefit Street with the buildings of Providence's Downcity visible in the backdrop, I marked the gentle, lapping breeze of that sweet-tempered afternoon. We walked in silence, my husband and I. I squeezed his hand, my fingers testing out the feel of the new metal there. Lisa, ever the professional, was practically out of sight, yet I still felt the gaze of the lens. It affected me oddly: I felt at once within and without myself, conscious of the texture of my gown and the paleness of my skin, yet also the pervasive calm that billowed through my body.
I had never in my life felt so engaged in the present moment. I experienced and relished the many sensations around me, the sweetness of the breeze, the tightness of my shoes, the warmth of my husband's hand. To say that I felt happy, to say even that I felt gloriously happy would not quite get it right. I felt nothing and everything. Simply, stunningly, I felt. God seemed to be at once everywhere.
"I believe that if you follow this love all the way to its end, if you start with the thing you find most beautiful and trace its perfume back to its essence, you will perceive an intangible presence, a swath of stillness, that allows the thing you love to be visible like the openness of the sky reveals the presence of the moon." ~ Geneen Roth