My heart hovered over the abyss, gray swirled shadows swathed without form. It longed for light, for love. It waited over time, over hope, over time and again of disappointment and no arrival. Like before creation, my heart hovered over unformed waters, waiting.
Then, a spark of light, a warmth of welcome rising from the depths. One pierce of orange, dusted yellow, dance of blue creasing the edge of the horizon. Your eyes, clear and gentle, alive with love and assurance of a safe place. My heart began to recognize yours, and they began to fit together, align themselves in the sky of an unknown future becoming visible.
You, the sunrise of my sleeping heart, awakening me to dream, to believe in hope, and accept the terrifying and wonderful gift of love. God knit our hearts, helped mend what was broken, and brought glorious color to the skyline of a new life that dawned when you dropped to one knee asked to be mine. //
February 7, 2020 was full of snow and blue skies. I was already on Washington Island for a solitary writing retreat, and Eric caught the 9:30 AM ferry to join me for the weekend. Around four in the afternoon, we needed to get out for fresh air. Winter on the island doesn’t afford as many opportunities to explore outside for long stretches of time, and we contemplated the options.
It was Eric who spoke up first. “Want to go to the observation tower?” We had climbed the tower back in October, and he had carved our initials into the wood. This was a special place for us, and he wanted to do a bit more clean up work on the initials, so we took the dipping roads to Mountain Road. It looked a little different in February than October, as it took two tries to get the car through the unplowed snow, and then there was the trek up the steep staircase layered with snow and ice. Both of us were on a mission to see this idea through, and the view at the top was worth it, with a span of the island, sun dipped below the trees in the west, and reflective light illuminating the lake.
Eric seemed a bit disappointed that the sun wasn’t over the water, but I reminded him that I had told him the tower faced northeast, not west.
He contemplated it for a while before asking, “Would you like to come back tomorrow morning and catch the sunrise up here?”
I laughed. Get up early in the morning, come back out in the cold, and all before I had my coffee? I declined with an emphatic, “NO.”
He considered the answer with a shrug of his shoulders. “Alright. In that case…”
I turned to see him bend to one knee, look up, and as the sun continued to descend down the trees, I rested my hands on his shoulders, ready for what I’ve been waiting for for nearly thirty-five years. He had one more question. “Sarah Rennicke, will you marry me?”
This one I quickly said yes to, and I wrapped him in a hug. The wind whipped cold around our faces, but the air felt invigorating, with the leading light of pastel colors in the sky, bright moon already making its appearance in the evening, and my favorite person with me in my favorite place, asking me to live life with him for the rest of our days.
**Happy one-year anniversary of our engagement, Eric. You have brought such light to my once shadowed heart.
Continuing my attempt at the Five Minute Friday weekly writing challenge. Five minutes to write on the assigned topic. Raw and unedited. (Yikes!) This week’s topic: Sunrise. // symbolizes where five minutes started and/or stopped.