Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Promise

The Gallatin River runs through it.  (Click to enlarge)
Kathryn grew up on her family’s ranch in Montana. So naturally that’s where she wanted to get married. It’s a beautiful ranch in a valley ringed by mountains. The Gallatin River runs through it for two miles and there’s a buffalo jump behind the old stone ranch house.

When we arrived for our wedding on Thursday there was three inches of snow on the ground. The snow melted (it was the end of May) but on the day of the wedding, the sky turned black. The ground was bone dry from years of drought so the ranchers had their hopes.

The log barn
Two horse drawn wagons ferried our guests across the pasture to an open tent on the river bank.

The wind picked up and Kathryn’s neighbor, Joe Axtell, third generation rancher looked at the mountain of black clouds dwarfing the mountains beneath them and said, “Well, I’ve learned to be reeeal careful about pree dictin’ the weather round here. But it sure looks like rain to me.”

The minister said, “in a world where all the corners have been explored and all of the wildernesses covered with maps, the last great adventure is two people sharing a life together.”

When we first got together Kathryn and I drove to the coast to watch a Pacific storm pound a deserted beach. “I will always be good to you,” she said.

I thought for awhile. It was a stupendous offer. Could I match it? After a long pause while I considered, I said, “I will always be good to you.”

After the ceremony, the guests hurried to the wagons and then to their cars. And the skies opened up in a deluge, South Western Montana’s first good soaking in five years.

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