Do you remember the last time you noticed something, something outside of yourself, that belongs so much so to the place that it is, that you physically feel… amazement. Like, you feel the boundaries of your own skin, and the beginnings of magic that extend- that unabashedly rush- beyond your own being? Sometimes, oftentimes, these simple treasures are overlooked. And I don’t know why we allow ourselves to grow accustomed to their existence, especially with how much pleasure they do bring us when paid attention to; but at other times, something beyond our own understanding allows our routine to be caught off guard. The moment stops us where we are, and heightens all sensitivity. It’s refreshing. It’s life, made known. And we notice something, we hadn’t maybe seen, for a long long while. I feel this in nature, in very quiet places; the sun flirting through an evergreen, fresh snow stretched around the edges of a rooftop, the way a big city seems to turn on all its lights at once, an elderly couple inappropriately flirting down the aisle at the market. When’s the last time that life, unexpectedly, made your mind quit so your heart could catch up?
One of the last times I felt this was a few weeks ago on a ranch in Camarillo, under some fantastically large trees, minutes after a wedding ceremony. Simply put, it was when Melissa buried her head into Billy’s chest. She was the feeling of peace. I know little about the history of what that moment meant to her, but I did know it was well with her soul, and whatever moment that was… fit just right, right where it was. Very tall Billy tipped his chin forward, and rested it on top of her head, and he kissed her delicately, and then she looked up, and they shared a gaze that agreed on many things. It wasn’t for a photo, it was real. It was soft yet groundbreaking; it was the creation of something new between them, built on a feeling felt by many, but unique to them alone.
And it reminded me that I know so little about the intricacies of love at large. Sure, adoration is sprawling about the Earth, but the personal stirrings it has written, the measures of joy it has born, is something that is all its own, from couple to couple. Melissa and Billy share a history that none of us could ever know first hand, and to be honest, that’s the most romantic thing I could ever imagine. Ever. The ideas that they have something all their own. A common thread sewn among humanity somehow looks completely unique from couple to couple. And I realized, what made what is otherwise common so moment-stopping, is that in the moment I witnessed, they allowed what was their story to be all theirs. They owned it, claimed what is theirs.
After trying to make sense of what it was that was so extraordinary about this witnessing is…. the importance of taking ownership of what is yours. Gladly receiving yours. Not looking behind, not anticipating more, but feeling what God has placed in your palm, or God has rested on your heart, metaphorically or even physically, in this very day. Receiving the uniqueness of your portion. And gratefully calling it enough. And not just calling it enough, but experiencing it as enough, because it is your own.
I believe life begins to look the same, begins to hum the same tune, because we’re all trying after this common ideal. We’re all pressing forward so much so, striving after the same damn thing, that we’ve forgotten to hold who we were given to hold. We all look the same because we’re all acting the same. And the people who look different, the blessed-moment-stoppers, are the ones who have chosen to embrace what is unique to them.
Melissa and Billy do this in the most humble, most attractive way. I don’t know if they’re even aware of it, because their display is far from flashy, yet somehow has the magnetism of a million exploding stars. And I’m thankful, really-really-eternally-thankful, for love like theirs who does this well. They are living what is all theirs, caught up by the miracles of their own story, glad and present, and gosh… it’s really-really good to see. Because every time I see it, it forces me to reorient around what already is, this unordinary and personal and– would you believe it– incomparable life of mine.
Oh, the freedom to live a love like that.
RAVES & THANKS:
Venue: McCormick Ranch, Camarillo
Second shooter: Leo Cabal
Florist: Ruffle Effect