Love’s Eternal Summer

moni 1
Today is the 2nd Wedding Anniversary of  my friends, Monica and Alessandro.  I Skyped with Moni this morning—they now live in Vigo, Spain– and neither of us could believe that two years have passed since the day they said “I Do.”
wedding (1)
I met them in Nashville:  Alessandro at the first-ever Mad Donna’s salsa night five years ago and Monica a couple of years later at a birthday party at a restaurant on Old Hickory. We learned we lived and taught high school in the Donelson area.   We bonded over hikes on the greenway where we walked miles in each other’s shoes.  I found this journal entry I wrote two years ago:

Today I was the sole witness of the wedding of soul mates— Monica from Spain and Alessandro from El Salvador.  Sprinting to deliver the bridal bouquet, I forgot money for the courthouse garage. Though I fancy myself Ms. Salsa in the City, I couldn’t handle Carrie Bradshaw heels in Nashville heat.  My feet swelled, then blistered.  After the ceremony, I leapt, then limped, across sizzling sidewalks barefoot — shady spot to shady spot– to Regions to withdraw the ransom for my car.
No matter.  Tonight I’m still smiling at the beauty of simplicity.   I was honored to see them stand before the Justice-of-the-Peace.  Though their wedding costs were minimal, the way they looked at each other as they exchanged vows and treat each other daily makes the couple one of the richest I know.

Monica returned to Spain three times after I met her—when her father died, when her teaching visa expired, when her holiday visa expired.  Despite the miles that separated her and Ale, their relationship grew even stronger.  Two years after they married, I still hope to have  what they have.  Love.  Fun.  An ease that comes from respecting each other and enjoying “the life.”
Though Skype keeps us connected, I miss my walks and talks with Moni by the Stones River.  We gave them a send-off which was bearable only because I plan to visit and, more importantly, they have each other.  I will miss them both at Mad Donna’s 5th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday—the place they met.  But I remembered just last month when we were all three at Summer Solstice parties—me on a farm in Tennessee and them at bond fires on the beach—that we were welcoming summer under the same moon.
Moni 2
Salsa at Mad D’s…where the Happy Couple and so many of us met.

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