Summer has always been an awakening time for us, filled with light and love. Especially near the Solstice.
Twelve summers ago, I was madly in love with the man I would later marry. It was that cool hot dude. He is and was and is my best friend. It would be another eight years before we spent a night apart.
Eleven summers ago, I was writing poetry, making art, and emerging from a semester off. I was about to dive straight into my first class in philosophy, which became a second love. I felt at home, on the way to something, but not knowing what.
Ten summers ago, we were taking a magical two-week motorcycle trip in the mountains of New Mexico. We traveled the winding paths of the Enchanted Circle together.
Nine summers ago, was a blur. I remember an amazing trip where we camped in Colorado for a week. We walked towards the big dipper every night as it lowered into the lake between mountains. He still loved me, even if I hadn't shaved my armpits in a week.
Eight summers ago, right on the Summer Solstice, we married on the shores of Lake Travis. It was the longest, most light filled day of the year, filled with family and friends. A few days later we headed to The Keys where we found an incredible last minute spot to stare at the ever changing ocean and each other for days.
Six summers ago, we were on the precipice of the unknown. We eventually moved back to Texas after Zach graduated, but Corpus was disgusting. We felt regret the moment we drove down South Padre Island Drive. We tried to make the best of it, but were thankful that home, Austin, was only a few hours away.
Five summers ago, back in Austin, I spent the summer depressed, dwelling on my first miscarriage. It was a huge epiphany the moment I read the positive line. I didn't know that I wanted to be a mama until then. We moved back to Austin, just because that's where we wanted to raise our child. Then it was all over in the blink of an eye. I felt empty, but it didn't hit me until I sat alone for so many months.
Four summers ago, I was hot and pregnant again! We were getting ready to move into Been Acre. I began to practice Zen, with the help of one awesome little book and one beautiful teacher. I was preparing for the hugest, most awakening moment of my life.
Three summers ago, I found myself a stay at home mom and figuring out a whole new world. This world was one that I never knew existed or ever thought I wanted to be a part of until I took the leap. It would turn out to be the best and most challenging decision of my life. To say it opened my eyes and heart is an understatement.
Two summers ago, I was pushing my Grandmother to go to the doctor, where eventually we would find out that her cancer had returned. This was a few months after my second miscarriage. And a month after I did something I had never done before: I drove to Houston alone to meet that beautiful teacher, Maezen, for my first Dharma Talk. It would be a moment that opened me up even further and prepared me for what lie ahead and tackling what was behind me. It welcomed me into deepening my practice.
One summer ago, I was two weeks away from the birth of beautiful Bodhi and deeply missing my Grandmother. It was a hard, hot summer, full of equal parts of love and loss.
Today, we celebrate eight years of marriage and the union of our beautiful families. Through trials and tribulations, practice, heart ache and expansion, I've made it to a spot of more love, happiness and joy than I can ever remember. My heart has begun to crack wide open.
Every moment is perfect in itself, and is my teacher, even if I don't see it right away. I am eternally grateful for everything and everyone in my life, the awesome and the not awesome, the easy and the tough.
I married my best friend, who became the father of our two beautiful boys. He sacrifices a lot more than many dads do. His boys are lucky to have him. Me too!
Through the years, we would learn that there is nothing more special than compromise and unconditional love. He's stuck by my side, and I his, through the thick and the thin. We've quarreled, made up, wondered and wandered together, and always been there for each other.
We've both put up with a lot, but I'm sure he's put up with more of my changes than I have his. We've settled many differences, and grown together, side by side, even if it seems like we live in parallel universes sometimes. That's what love is: growing and evolving together, despite differences. There's always differences.
I love you, Zach. Thank you for faithfully being by my side and being the best father these boys could ever have.
Here's the Apache prayer that Zach's brothers read at our wedding:
Here's to our one life.