In England on our first, second and third wedding anniversaries I would especially think of this photograph. It didn’t make the trip with us, and sat in a dusty box back home. Amongst other emotions, I felt homesick because the setting, people and home it evoked, were half a world away.
In St Albans I told friends about this photo, describing it as well as I could, but only receiving vague, empty nods in return. Reflecting on the many months that this photo and I were apart, I can see now, it was the relic, the symbol I most missed.
It is early morning when this picture was taken and the beach is fresh and gorgeous. The sky is innermost in this. Distinctly Australian; it is a soaring blue cathedral swept by wisps of cirrus. It is our private Sistine Chapel. These clouds release upward, their white curls; fragile, yet vast and unhurried.
Unlike those of Europe or other teeming and tired places, these kindly vapors are friendly, and promising. And they are painted across a blue; a majestic, profound blue, washing over us with colours not seen in the Mediterranean in centuries. How could we have abandoned this sky for England‘s leaden, crushing ceiling?
I’m standing opposite you on the beach, dried seaweed lying around me. The wedding suit black contrasts with our surroundings on this vivid October morning. Leaning forward, I’m poised, hands ready. My focus is entire, there’s nothing else in my world.
And now, of course, to you.
You are the picture within a picture. Beyond a Venetian sunset, the awesome splendor of Santorini, the bursting English spring; this is the most beautiful image. Matching the white drifts of cloud in its elegance, your wedding dress is becalmed by the camera, yet somehow moving like a breeze.
Your leg, extended jauntily, is parallel with the gulf’s horizon as the football floats skywards, set in motion by your deft kick. What does this suggest? Your passion for fun and readiness for life, impulsiveness and a boldness of spirit that bewitched me years ago, and bewitches me still.
Over a decade later, this photo remains a joyful song, an endless bottle of the finest wine, and a thrilling, rich story.
Enduring thanks to our wedding photographers, and dear friends Brett and Trish at http://www.bluerazoo.com/