As the actual anniversary day approached and we hadn’t managed to check off even half the things on our list, I was hoping we could knock off half a dozen on the big day--October 1. To start, we picked #8: Visit Seven Sisters Falls, hoping we might also fortuitously accomplish some of the other things along the way.
The warm sunshine looked so promising that Sunday morning. We began with breakfast at our local A&W before heading east down the highway. Halfway to Winnipeg, the rain began.
And it rained.
I was beginning to think we’d dropped ourselves into a weird time warp where, instead of marking forty years, we would be joining Noah for forty days and forty nights.
“No vehicles beyond this point” greeted us when we arrived at the big power dam, so our options were to get wet or to drive all that way only to miss what we came to see. So we got out, crossed the bridge on foot, read the signs, saw the sights, and snapped a few photos. It really was impressive, and we definitely had the place to ourselves.
After dragging our drenched bodies back inside the car, we cranked up the heat to warm up.
“Now what?” I’m not sure which of us said it.
There were certainly more things to do in the area—on a sunnier day.
“Well, we came all this way. Might as well carry on and see Pinawa, too.”
We drove around Pinawa, then up to Lac du Bonnet, and back through Beausejour to Winnipeg—the rain falling relentlessly the entire time.
Finally, after stopping in Winnipeg for supper, the waterworks let up and we drove home to Portage to discover the sun had shone here all day.
We’d covered enough ground to get us to South Dakota and only crossed one thing off our list.
As I thought about it, the rainy anniversary made a fairly accurate metaphor for marriage. You head off down the road of wedded bliss in the glorious sunshine. But the rain inevitably comes. The challenges can be relentless.
You have options. You can turn around and go back. Start again with a different person and hope for better weather. You can keep going and mourn for all you are missing, the unmet goals, the crushed dreams. You can stubbornly stay in the car and stay dry while your spouse takes the risk and enjoys the view alone. You can grumble. Cry. Curse your partner. Rail at God, the only one who can change the weather.
The one thing you cannot do is stop the rain.
But if you pay attention, you discover things along the journey, such as...
- There will always be a thief who wants to steal your joy.
- Plans rarely turn out the way you hoped, but moving forward and staying together will still yield more than giving up.
- The sun comes out again, eventually.
- And perhaps most importantly: there is still extraordinary beauty to be enjoyed on a rainy day.