We were friends immediately, there beside the piano in the residence hall lobby, because we’d both been homeschooled, both been raised in the military, both wore brown leather sandals. A math major at a liberal arts school, she quickly became a steadying influence in our circle of musicians, artists, and literarians, coming to my dorm room routinely to “borrow water” from my filter-pitcher, taking long walks through the neighborhood, sprawling on the bed working algebra equations.
She wore more lace and floral prints than any of the rest of us, but she was also more willing to throw herself whole-heartedly into rough frisbee games, never minding collisions and bruises. She blushed easily — a thing we rather exploited — and she took things at their literal values, comfortable that one and one equal two, while others of us sat and speculated about why they should equal two, and if there were times when they did not, and what their equalling two meant in the large scheme of things. She was more likely to be kind where others of us were squeamish.
Our circle tended to patronize classical music and obscure indie bands, to swoon for dark melancholy heroes, and to deem those movies best which were most artistic and unsettling. But she continued cheerfully listening to her country music, dreaming of country men “oozing manliness,” and preferring movies which ended happily, however little artistry was involved.
It shouldn’t have surprised me, therefore, when she moved West after graduating, but it did. Nor should I have been surprised at the message she sent me earlier this year: “I think I’ve found my cowboy.” But I was. And then I found myself flying to Colorado, driving to Wyoming, standing behind her in a field and blinking back tears as her bridegroom beamed at her from under his cowboy hat.
This isn’t a fairy tale, so the wedding only begins the story, and I can’t write “happily ever after” just here. (It belongs at the ends, you know.) But I know the One who has written “happily ever after” at the end of His story, and I know that He who began the good work of the marriage contracted in a Wyoming field last weekend will bring it to completion in His good time. In that certainty, I celebrate.
©2012 by Stacy Nott