I really know how to pick dates. Not only did I not consider how busy the military was in September when I chose our wedding, but I also failed to take into account the weather in Ontario. I just knew where I wanted to get married, and “in the fall” (the vaguest of timeframes), and so I booked the venue when it was available.
In early September. During a field EX and a hurricane.
That year, Kingston caught the tail end of the effects of Hurricane Leslie, raising the water in the St. Lawrence River to unheard-of levels, causing freak microbursts (one which turned into a Category 2 Tornado and destroyed a farm), and basically getting us to question why we ever chose a waterfront venue in the first place. I was still on all my medication from the accident – it being just over a year since it had occurred – and my mother very wisely suggested I take an extra dose of the anxiety medication before handing me a half glass of wine. It helped. A little. But the fact that my hairdresser had used a whole bottle of hairspray on my head not a couple hours before “to make it hurricane proof” was preventing me from taking the nap I probably needed.
So we travelled to the Mess in the pouring rain. I sidestepped puddles in the parking lot, and my dad held my umbrella for me. I thanked my own foresight for deciding to go with an indoor wedding, rain or shine. It was definitely not shining.
In the room I had chosen, the altar was set up against two lovely full length windows, and as the ceremony began, they were dark. And then, somewhere in the middle, they began to brighten. And brighten.
And by the time I was Mrs. Johns, the glorious sun was drying everything. Like a blessing, it streamed through the windows on our backs as we made our way down the aisle together. All our photos? Taken outside on the beautiful (and now dry) limestone steps of the adjacent building. It was like Mother Nature herself had decided we had had enough struggle in our lives up until that point, and she was blessing us with her favour. It was gorgeous. It was everything I could have hoped for. And it was worth all the worry. Our wedding is still talked about as being a simply incredible celebration.
So that is the story of the hurricane at our wedding. Every time I think of that day, I remember how nervous I was; how difficult the lake and river were being; how utterly, hopelessly ruined things might have become. And instead, we got sunshine and beauty, and the full advantage of our amazing setting. And sometimes I get a little shiver to think that the weather might have just been mimicking our lives up until that point.
I love you, Mr. Johns. Happy 5th anniversary.
May the sun keep shining on us for decades more. XO.