Today was the day, the first anniversary of our marriage, and at one o’clock on this day, Mark and I had abandoned all people and stood on top of a hill under a tree and looked out across the green and the grey and the sky.
Just two people, hand in hand under a big old oak, looking out over the life we’ve started to build together. Just two people feeling content that no, when we did it, it wasn’t a mistake. We weren’t too young, we didn’t rush. We did the right thing at the time.
I never got him any present, and he gave me a box of chocolate. And today when we were beginning to stress and moan about doing something, in the end we just got into Mark’s car and drove out of town, away from the pressure to conform to some idea that ‘we had to mark it in some very commercial way’.
And we ended up there, just the two of us, under that tree, on top of that hill, with the car standing half a mile away because we couldn’t get it all the way up to this spot. Holding hands, looking out over everything. Seeing the trees, the round hills elsewhere, the snaking roads, the passing cars, the birds and the insects and the grass.
We brought food. Gorgonzola cheese, drinks, crackers, roast chicken clubs marinated over night and roasted in the oven before we left. A blanket which we spread over the grass, under the tree, and a wicker basket like a couple from some old forties film.
And we sat there, not really speaking much, but feeling more. There’s a way he looks when he’s content and happy, and he had that look now. There’s a warmth I feel when I am content and happy, and I felt that now. What need was there to speak? Words are these weak little things which feels big in the mouth but which crumble once they’re on the wing. They’re pathetic things that can never transmit even a tenth or a hundredth of the feeling behind them.
We did the right thing, we chose the right path, we weren’t too young or too eager. This is good, and this day marks the first year, and if this day is any evidence of anything there’s going to be many more days like it.