Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership
Dating Mary - When the Sky Danced
By Evan Nehring
Can It Be Too Right?Mary was no Nancy either. In some ways she was better. She was happy, chipper, maybe a bit too much like me. She was an elementary music teacher. Everyone liked Mary. I don’t know that we were head over heels. Maybe she was. I enjoyed how fun she was and how game for an adventure at the drop of a hat.
The church liked her. I chatted with a board member in my office one day. He said the board had discussed giving me a substantial raise as I looked toward forming a family. I liked the idea of a raise but I was honestly a bit offended that it hinged on me entering a serious relationship. Perhaps they figured that all of those phone numbers tucked into my suit pockets on Sunday mornings had finally paid off. I guess that’s life under the microscope.
We went to her parents’ place in southern Wisconsin. They ran this amazing multi-floor daycare. They were wonderful, loving people, and Mary was their pride and joy.
Mary was my date for a youth formal banquet. I was the sectional youth rep and organizer of this formal banquet for several area youth groups. We brought in Tim Dorsey, an amazing singer from Appleton. I emceed the event and had a nice time hanging out with all the well dressed teens, and with Mary.
Sharing a Cosmic Light ShowI dropped her off late that night at her apartment and headed for mine. I couldn’t sleep though. I get way too wired at events like that to just hit the pillow and fall asleep. I was out walking when I noticed the lights in the sky…the northern lights. I’m from Canada but I’ve never seen anything like this Wisconsin night, before or since. Full shimmering bands of purple and white and green danced across the sky. I had to show Mary.
She didn’t mind me waking her up at 2 AM. We came outside, leaned on the car and gazed up at the sky. I wonder if the world has ever seen anything like it. North to south, east to west, the sky danced with frolicking color. It flared wildly from horizon to horizon, morphing in texture and shape and hue. It flailed. It flew. I’ll never forget it.
There’s something timeless about sharing a moment like that. But the most unbelievable heavenly light show in history (could it have been?) doesn’t hold a candle to love. Mary has found herself a man. They have found themselves a family.
Love Is Greater than the Aurora BorealisMaybe the most important thing about the night the sky danced is that we both saw it. Mary saw it and Evan saw it. We were not married, we were just together. It doesn’t compare with a lifetime of waking up together. It doesn’t compare to raising a family together. The simple event of marriage outstrides everything seeming right, even the dancing of the heavens.
Was Nancy’s ghost still in the picture? Yes, but there was more happening now. There was a foreshadowing of a destiny that I could feel but couldn’t explain. There was more.
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