Feeling The Sun From Both Sides

 To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides  - David Viscott

Young sunflowers follow the sun their heads turning as the day changes from morning to night powerless to resist the movement of the light, but mature sunflowers hold fast, firmly planted and permanently facing east. They stand like silent sentries content to feel the warmth as the sun passes over as if they know somehow the benefits that will come from feeling the sun from both sides.

Three Years

Today is our third wedding anniversary. John would say getting married was a piece of the puzzle necessary for immigration which sounds decidedly unromantic, which he is not.

He would say that the date we met online and the date we met in person are more significant for him and more noteworthy than our wedding day and I can see why he would feel this way.

Wedding Day - John Winchurch & Elizabeth Harper - 2/2/2009

Our wedding day was our most public declaration and more of a celebration than the deeply moving experience of some marriage ceremonies. It was a period at the end of the sentence that meant I could stay forever.

Snowy Wedding Day - John Winchurch & Elizabeth Harper

While all three dates have their place in our history there’s one we note more privately which is how it occurred. We both see it as the most significant of the three and the one that marked a defining moment in our relationship. I’ve written about it before, the look that passed between us while standing on bridge built in the 14th century only eight days after we met in person.

This photograph of me was taken almost immediately after that moment occurred. I’m standing on Helland Bridge with no doubt and no fear, loving the man and the moment, ready plant my feet and face permanently east. 

Taken only minutes later, this is one of my very favorite photographs of John. There are a million reasons why, but this act that came later is just one of many that confirmed what I already knew that day.

Much has changed since I wrote my first blog post, but as you can see from the title if you follow the link, some things are exactly same.

If you’d like to share a sweet story of your own either through a comment or link, I’d love to read it.

Seeing Things From A Different Side

w

Arriving only a short while before the rehearsal on the day before the wedding, I didn’t have time to look for any special places away from the wedding location for additional photographs. As the wedding day began, I asked John to check an area near the bridge you see above. Viewing it from the car as we drove over it, the bridge above looked fairly plain and unremarkable, but on closer inspection he discovered a beautiful site for several photo opportunities by walking down a small hill towards the River Avon.

This photograph was taken just a few minutes after the wedding. Seeing it now, I am reminded of the change I witnessed that day with Alycia and Mark as their nervous and excited energy before the ceremony was replaced almost at once with a more relaxed and grounded sense of peace and happiness. A recent bride myself, it’s easy to recognize the shift in perspective when you feel it too. 

Like any couple wishing to have a successful union, they will need to find ways to have a shared vision at times …to see the person they love from a different side rather than the one that looks the easiest to recognize. The rewards though that come with taking a second look often reveal a sweet surprise just as this bridge did when viewed from a different side.  

Three Weeks Ago Today…

Three weeks ago today John and I were doing this….

dscf7069b

It began to snow just as our reception was coming to a close and when John and I went on a walk later that night things were being to look a bit like this…   

Is it  just me or does anyone else see a shape in the photograph below?

img_5249

 What began as a few flakes became this by morning. I grabbed my camera and headed out early for a quick walk and a few photographs before the rest of house was up and out. Remember, we had wedding guests who’d slept over as the roads had not been drivable the evening before. I was excited and worried about all the snow since we had a honeymoon flight to Paris scheduled for that day. Not wanting to miss the early morning light and the fresh snow I drank a quick cup of coffee, pulled on my wellies and headed out.

img_52822

img_5296

img_53891

img_5397

 

The Buttercup Field In Winter

The Buttercup Field In Winter

img_5432

img_5468

img_5463

img_54611

img_5497

Our Parish Church

As I passed by the parish church again on my way back home, I saw that the roads were still icy and cars were not yet able drive out of our village due to the amount of hills where we live.  When I arrived home, John said that his younger daughter had decided to try to walk out of the village and up to a motor way where she could arrange for a cab to meet her and her 4 year old daughter. Her plan was to try make it to a train station and on to the flight they had scheduled to return to their home. John and I had tickets to fly out of Bristol to Paris later that day for our honeymoon so we knew if we were going to make it, we would need to hike out as well. I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you more of our post wedding adventures, but for now…here’s a little preview.

snow-days

 

 

 

Everyone’s A Wedding Photographer

dsc_03201

My handsome husband was a bit put off by the idea of hiring a wedding photographer for our ceremony two weeks ago.  It seems the idea of having a professional wedding photographer to capture the best moments of our day made him uneasy. I think he thought having someone with pro equipment snapping and flashing in his direction might make him more the center of attention than the title of bridegroom already conferred. Now for anyone who’s been to my old site at http://www.giftsofthejourney.com you may have noticed that I’ve photographed a few weddings myself. It’s one of the ways I earned my living in America and something I’ll be doing here as soon as I am approved for work by immigration.

Let me show you what happens when you tell a woman who photographs other people’s weddings that we’ll skip that part of the wedding planning and just let our guests snap a few of us instead. Actually, I think I did pretty good job of letting go of my camera for the day….well almost.

Bride Grabs Camera On Wedding Day

Bride Grabs Camera On Wedding Day

I’ve been very fortunate to marry into a family of women who know how capture a good moment and with this many shutters snapping, you’ve got a good chance of getting something that works.  John’s idea though…the one where no pro photographer equals no posing for a bunch of photographs… well, toss that idea right out the window.  

Winchurch Women Turn Paparazzi (Photo by T.R. Cross)

Winchurch Women Turn Paparazzi (Photo by T.R. Cross)

Almost everyone came with a camera of some kind. John’s younger daughter was gracious enough to take control of some of my gear and she used my Nikon D200 like a pro.

Handling It

Handling It

Here’s some of her work.

dsc_0289    dsc_0261

 

dsc_0297

John Winchurch & Elizabeth Harper 2-2-09

I have to thank Tina (T.R. Cross)  for her work as well.  She did a great job with my Canon Powershot G9 and a couple of other cameras that she happened to be handed from time to time.

20090202_0278

 

img_5175

Here are a few more photographers pressed into action for the day including John’s firstborn who appears to be taking tips from Tina, but is quite handy on her own with a camera. The rest and there were more… seemed to have escaped being photographed with a camera in their hand.

Our Youngest Photographer

Our Youngest Photographer (Age 4)

 

20090202_02951

 

Some mixed images from that day.

20090202_0335

 

 

20090202_0434   

This is John’s grandmother’s knife that he saved from his dad’s tool chest years ago where he’d been using it to open paint cans. John rescued it and cleaned it up and has been using it on a daily basis ever since. It seemed appropriate to me to use a knife with so many years of history to slice in our wedding cake and add a bit more memories to the old blade.

dsc_0260

 

 

20090202_044220090202_0444

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last one…signing the registry book of weddings.

20090202-01493