Zebra Tales
Maddie '24

Silver Linings

Needless to say, the pandemic has been extremely hard on everyone.  I myself have struggled to find ways to return to normalcy and get into a routine that doesn’t drive me crazy. I think we are all searching for an escape, a way to forget about what is going on in the greater world.
Thanksgiving was, hopefully, that solace for some people, despite the complicated situations we find ourselves in. I myself had the privilege of going to my uncle’s wedding and experiencing a beautiful moment of love and connectivity that the pandemic has starved us of. The ceremony was very simple and incredibly small. Only ten people were in attendance, all direct family, which made the wedding incredibly intimate. We sat on stone benches in a grove of trees, the afternoon light illuminating the faces of my family, while my dad read from a poem by Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road. In the hope that some of you might be able to experience some of the beauty of this moment I thought I might share my favorite part of his reading. 
From “Song of the Open Road” by Walt Whitman:
Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before you,
The long brown path before you, leading wherever
you choose.
Say only to one another:
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law:
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
The last line stayed with me and I found myself thinking about it as I fell asleep that night. It was a question that needed no answer. Of course they would give themselves to one another, of course they would travel together, of course they would stick by each other. The poem seemed to capture the endless possibilities before them, and at the same time give assurance that my uncle and his soon to be husband would be eternally tied to each other.

Vows were exchanged and shortly thereafter so were the rings. They were married. The moment was so fast, yet so incredibly charged with emotion. It was a truly beautiful moment in the midst of such an ugly time, and for this break in the turmoil, for this sweet silver lining, I am very grateful.