Both times before, I wished I'd a place in my port for my entries...this time I do!
|Amanda breathed in the warm spring air as she strolled hand in hand with Donald. The waters of Lake Ontario would still be frigid for another six weeks, but she could smell the promise of summer in the mild, lilac-infused breeze along its shore. They seemed to amble, but she knew Donald was leading her toward the south end of Sackets Harbor and its historic ruins of the War of 1812.
Sure enough, he tugged gently on her hand at a bench in front of the town’s landmark of pride, Madison Barracks, and they sat down. They’d both grown up in Sackets Harbor and didn’t need to read the plague explaining the significance of the barracks and the shorefront battlefield that had seen battles in every war from 1812 to World War II. To them, the place held a different, special significance. It was the place Donald had first asked her out, and where he’d first kissed her. Now, Donald admired the edifice, his eyes dancing.
“Amanda,” he began, “I love you very much.” She smiled at him, and he went on. “Love is like a wall, when you think about it. It defines the spaces in which we live. It provides the structure we need in our lives.”
He let go of her hand and slowly dug his into his jacket pocket. Amanda’s eyes strayed there a moment, then back to his face which glowed with the fires of intent and love. She felt her heart begin to race.
“A wall protects. It keeps those within safe and secure while protecting them from the elements of the environment. Love is like that, it keeps us safe and protected.” He withdrew his hand, bringing a small black box out of his pocket.
Amanda’s breath caught in her throat, but her eyes filled with tears. She lowered her chin and cast her gaze to her hands resting limp in her lap. Her voice was small when she said, “A wall also conceals things. People hide themselves behind walls.” She looked up and was instantly sorry for her words. “Donald…” she whispered.
He looked into her face with compassion and wiped a tear from his cheek. “No, you’re right, Amanda.” He paused. “If there’s one thing I could take back in my life, it would be that one…indiscretion.” He took hold of Amanda’s hand in his while holding the small box in his other. “But you know you have always been the only one for me.”
She nodded and her smile was genuine. He looked back up at the barracks, and pointed at the north end that had been destroyed in a past war. “But our love is like this wall. It has endured all that has come at it. It has even crumbled in some places. But it still stands despite it all, like our love, a promise of many years to come filled with peace, security and happiness.” Donald pulled back the box lid to reveal a stunning diamond ring, its platinum band set with fiery sparkles. Amanda gasped, her hand coming to her mouth.
Donald chuckled. “I’d get down on my knee again,” he started to say, but Amanda cut him off.
“Don’t you dare,” she said through her tearful giggles, “Or we’ll never get you up again!”
Donald looked deeply into her eyes. “Happy fiftieth anniversary, my love.” And he leaned over and kissed her.