About exactly one year ago, I was hanging off a harness 400’ above the San Diego coastline, marvelling at the vastness of our oceans.
Parasailing wasn’t the thrilling adventure I’d imagined it to be (trust me, I was about to pee my bikini bottoms as I was getting strapped in), but rather a calming one. We hung in almost total silence with the sky surrounding us and the ocean below our feet.
And my fear of heights? It disintegrated with the wind and simply did not exist up there.
But my heart was pounding with a different kind of fear… a nervousness and anxiety because I was falling for the boy strapped in next to me.
D and I had been dating for a few months by this point, but not everything was clicking. Dates were sometimes awkward and it was hard to find common ground. We seemed to be complete opposites. He liked war/political thrillers while I liked comedy. His fur companion was a pitbull while mine came in the forms of two fluffy bunnies. He owned his own business while I worked in the corporate world complete with medical, savings, and pension plans. He was an eternal optimist and risk taker, while I was comfortable living a safe life.
But what we share is a curious and adventurous spirit. Hanging in the sky that day, in the eerie calm and endless blue, we just knew that none of the differences mattered. There is something about being so high up that puts your life into perspective… feeling like an insignificant speck in the enormity of the world, and yet knowing you’re the most important thing to the person sitting next to you, and realizing vice versa.
Upon our return to the boat, we watched as other couples went up. All the other couples were around our age – mid 20’s to early 30’s. All except one. They were an older couple whose faces were wrinkled with years of stories, but who still had the adventurous spirit. When their turn came, I watched as the little old lady gently helped her husband up and to the back of the boat to be strapped in. There are few things in this world more touching than love that has endured all these years.
D must have thought the same, for he leaned in and whispered, “Are you going to help me like that when we’re old and gray?”
Of course I would. But I flustered, “Who says we’re even going to be together by then?”
My response broke his heart. It put a damper on what would have been a lovely day.
I couldn’t admit that I had fallen for him 400’ over the Pacific. Opening up your heart is a dangerous thing to do.
That was one year ago. The next week, we took the plunge and exchanged those three little words. Today, I can’t imagine growing old with anyone else.
What a difference a year makes. :)
[A special thanks to my wonderful friend Claire for snapping the picture!]