How many aisles does one walk down in life? I usually hit seven or eight each time I go to the grocery store. Times twice a month, twelve times a year, for sixty, seventy years if I’m lucky. The purple velvet ballet flats luckily hidden beneath the flow of my dress pinch my feet in all the wrong places.
Back straight. Chest out. Shoulders back. Hands at your belly button. Look left, look right. Smile. I’m walking too quickly. Or maybe not quickly enough. Relax your shoulders Don’t wave. Smile. Don’t shrug. Smile. Lower your hands. Don’t clench the bouquet. Hold it in your fingers, not your palms.
Crap. I’m already at the end. Did I miss the moment or was that it? There isn’t enough time to decide. Music changes. Everyone stands. The soft breeze blows my dress, her veil, the leaves. Tears fill the corner of my eyes. My hair doesn’t move. Beneath my feet, under a pair of purple shoes, I stand on holy ground.
A small plot of green grass in a wheat field. In a valley of vineyards. In her backyard. Underneath the branches of a humongous oak tree. I stand beside my closest friends, in front of familiar faces and shared stories. No one is looking at me.
I still have to fix her dress, hold her bouquet, give a speech, mingle with extended family and new friends. Yet in this moment, my gut returns to its rightful place and my breath stops. It’s her walk now. Her aisle. Her moment. Green grass. Brown fields. One oak tree. Land. Sky. Sun. Valley. A piano. A sea of friends. Pinched feet. And a white dress.