Love is not always some grandiose thing, it does not always come crashing through the heart as some passionate beast threatening to consume and overtake. It is not always a mountain to be climbed and obstacles to be conquered or boisterous words of declaration. It is not to say that love cannot be these things, and more, because love comes in many guises, connects people of its own desire, in all manner of spectacular and unexpected ways.
But sometimes. Love is quiet, love is calm, love is found in the small secret things shared between two people of humble accord. Sometimes. Love is discovered in the tattered hole of a sweater, in the needle and thread that stitches it anew. Love is the heartbeat thrill of anticipation that imagines new beginnings. Love is handwritten notes and cups of coffee and standing out in the rain and the solid warmth of an embrace that is home. Love is the flush of a smile, the teasing lilt of a grin and the sound of laughter as it breaks free in merriment. Love is in the tender question How are you? and the reassuring comfort of Better now.
Love is a girl from New York and a boy from South Africa meeting in a downtown bar on a night that almost wasn’t at all, on a night that would mark the beginning of forever for Hillary and Warren.
It’s three weeks later; the date is February 8th, 2013. They’re walking through the heavy fall of snow, their laughter captured fleetingly as puffs of white in the icy cold of night. Childlike whimsy and snowball fights that leave them breathless come to pause when the decision is made for a photograph. Warren clasps Hillary close to his side, his gloved hand gripping strong and true to her shoulder. He’s fallen in love with the girl that will be his confidant, his inspiration, his never-ending heart of joy. As the snow clings to them both, Hillary presses cold-tinged lips to Warren’s cheek; she’s fallen in love with a boy whose affection for her is warm, gentle and unconditional.
Winter melts into spring, into summer and fall and winter again, again.
The date is September 25th, 2015. Hillary and Warren are married on an autumn day bright with laughter and harmony and pulse-fluttering excitement. They meet on the crosswalk between 5th Ave and East 23rd Street, the pages of their new life together painted with hand-linked strolls through bustling city streets, fanciful carousal rides and sweet-september kisses. Their wedding day is an encompassment of the two and a half years spent together, three hundred and sixty five plus many days of spontaneous adventure, soft endearments and the thrill of love, life and always.
A camera snaps.
And these moments are captured forever.