Anniversary Poem and Wedding Dress Adventures

Roses in front of the beautiful Northfield Public Library

Roses in front of the beautiful Northfield Public Library

This August, Tim and I celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary: the silver one. It is true that we each have a few silver hairs, but, honestly, it simply doesn’t seem that long to us, despite documentary proof:

Leslie and Tim in 1988

24th Anniversary

We’ve shared a number of adventures thus far, including getting to know the surprise party planner pictured above between us. (That surprise party for our last anniversary was the most delightful party ever–wonderful company, delicious food, and a perfect setting. Thank you, Julia! Thank you, Ellen!) Even the dress I wore (my great-grandmother’s gown, brought back from the brink with refurbishment in 1988) had some adventures in its last year of 2010. After decades in a dark box, it got a chance to see the world before leaving it:

Wedding Dress in Snow

Wedding Dress with Tulips

Wedding Dress Country Road

The Dress and I on Last Day

Although the dress is gone–the netting rotted beyond repair before its Viking funeral send-off on our twenty-second anniversary–our adventures continue. I couldn’t bear to throw it out, but it didn’t make sense to keep it in a box when it could no longer be worn. Our ceremony to celebrate and honor the dress gave us a sense of new possibilities and a tangible metaphor for the necessity of submitting to those changes life insists upon.

Wedding Dress and Full Moon

(Photo note: what appears to be the sun setting is actually the full moon rising!)

Later this month, Tim and I are planning an urban adventure together. We’re staying a short time at a luxurious hotel and giving ourselves the rare luxury of unplanned time–many ideas for things to see and do but nothing actually scheduled!  (Julia and Peanut will sojourn in the country with friends.)

Wedding Suitcase

And we look forward to all the new discoveries on the road together toward our golden celebration in 2038. Here is a poem I wrote in honor of our twentieth anniversary.


The champagne cork lifts off, sails toward a night
sky littered with stars. Probably it lands
on the grass, perhaps on the roof of the shed.
No longer bottled up, sharp smoke disperses.

We bring our bubbling glasses together,
raise them in honor of each other, our friends,
our cherished place on Earth, cheering, “Here, here!”

The beautiful silver flight of the knife
ends with a thud, sunders a crisp melon
under the sweet rising moon of August.

We’re surrounded by intergalactic cold,
an uncertain economic climate,
political tumult.  Yesterday, hail
strafed this peaceful town and its lush gardens,

yet we are calmed in all this whirling by knowing
in our universe there is no down or up.
Just this one central moment,
this warm hand, this sweet breath, this sip of home.

Wedding Champagne Glasses

Thank you for reading this! If you think of someone else who might enjoy it, please forward it to them. And, if you are not already a subscriber, I invite you to subscribe to the Wednesday posts I am sending out each week–it’s easy, it’s free, and I won’t share your address with anyone.


Other News

White MailboxWe are beginning to make plans for Julia’s freshman year of high school. One highlight–among many–is the chance to study again with a master teacher. Julia Denne is offering an online course on master works of short fiction from 19th century Russian writers. After studying Tolstoy’s War and Peace in depth last year with Julia Denne, our Julia is interested in the wide variety offered by this new syllabus: writers from Pushkin to Chekhov are represented. Online discussions are sure to be lively. Take a look at




12 thoughts on “Anniversary Poem and Wedding Dress Adventures

  1. Hi Beth,

    Thanks for the nudge…in a couple of weeks I will do as you suggest. (Wish I had thought of the burning arrow and/or had the archery skills to manage such flair!)


  2. Thank you, Jan. At Tim’s suggestion, we’re considering the whole month of August a celebration…and I think there will be a bit on our urban adventure in a couple of weeks. Leslie

  3. I want to know more about the wedding dress Viking funeral…where did it get torched? Did someone launch a burning arrow onto it? Was it all burned or only certain parts? Please use a week to tell us the Story of the Wedding Dress.

  4. Congratulations! 25 is a very good year, and to be useful and see the world and burn at the hands of a loving friend is not a bad way for a beautiful dress to go. I love your Wednesday posts and photos.

  5. Hi Patsy,

    You are one of a small handful of people–the stalwart kind–who had the stamina to view most of the 1,000 photos I took of the dress. Thanks for your enthusiasm for the project, then and now. Leslie

  6. Hi Julia,

    There will be more poems in the near future! I agree: poetry reflects the beauty all around us and allows us to really see it over and over.


  7. Thank you so much for your wonderful posts on Wednesdays! They make my Wednesdays special now. Please keep letting us read your poems – their beauty lingers and transforms the repetitive and familiar nature of our everyday life…

  8. Thanks, Mom.

    Remember how hot it was on that day back in 1988? In the photographs we, like Miss Hayworth, simply glow.


  9. I love seeing some of the pictures of The Wedding Dress again. Just incredible. (And also the picture of you and Tim as a young just-married couple). I celebrate your wonderful relationship!

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