We could hear fall in our footsteps: the crunch of the golden leaves in the cushion of the wet earth. Around us we were wrapped in the mist of a late September morning. Molly carried an old book in her hand. I was curious about it. I’d brought us earl grey tea lattes to warm our hands and hearts as we walked and talked about what it means to have a wedding, what it means to build a life. We were walking the exact path Molly would walk with her father Roger in just under a year. Kash was with us, making his presence known in blurs of white fur in the dense foliage now and again. We arrived at the point in the path where you could see the grove of aspens that would serve as the meeting place for Molly and Bert to officially join as husband and wife. I could see it all in my head especially as I was beginning to get to know Molly and the kind of human she is. The first words that jumped out at me were thoughtful, conscientious, intentional. We’d already skipped over the small stuff and dove into larger nuanced topics of conservation, community planning, and how we choose where we live. The book in her hands, it was photos of her parents wedding. I knew I really wanted to be a part of this wedding.

340ish days later I found myself winding through the aspens trailing behind a girl in a white dress next to an older gentleman with grey hair clad in tidy slacks and suit jacket. The sun was warm and the golden hue unique to September light in Montana. They were weaving in out of patches of it.  The quiet, calm walk was peppered around the edges with the expectation of mirth adn merriment to come.  Over the river and through the woods, to a field filled with the people they love most, to a wedding, we must go.

Just minutes before as Molly and Roger began this walk, we were met by a sun shower.  I don’t know the science behind sun showers nor do I really want to because I prefer the magic of them. Rain falls and yet when you look up there are no clouds. Later, Molly would tell me that she almost burst into tears right then and there. Magic.

Her tears waited for that field and for the man standing at the end of an aisle formed of hay bales and faces brimming with smiles and tears of their own. Bert shed some too. When Molly began to read her vows she unfolded the paper containing her carefully crafted words, words she’d only just revised at her kitchen counter just as her father straightened his tie. Bert reached for her hand as she shared her heart with him and the audience I’m sure they’d forgotten.

There was a last minute breaking of a button on a wedding dress, a cake cutting but not by the bride and groom, copious amounts of oysters, grilled cheese, pies of all kinds made with love by friends, dancing in the fading light, a chance to learn to two-step, a getaway truck, and so much more all beneath the watchful gaze of the Bridgers.

Happy day and lives to you Molly & Bert! Thank you so much for having me.