The summer of 2016 was a summer of drought. A summer of heat. Yellowed grass, parched lakes and rivers reduced to streams.
That began to change in late September / early October. There is a type of rain that is undoubtedly a herald of fall. It feels different. Smells different. Leaves start to change and there is a bite to the air. The number of pies in local markets increases exponentially (this is an important fact that can't be left out). I'd become accustomed to forecasts that focused solely on temperature records - not forecasts that included a chance of precipitation.
It can be tough going into a wedding when you know that the forecast is calling for rain. When you know that a good portion of the festivities and celebrations are planned to be outdoors. "It'll be ok", "we'll catch a break", "rain is good luck on your wedding day!". I left Halifax for Windsor in the early hours of the morning. Drizzle begat showers. Showers begat bands of rain washing across the highway.
But there was Nicole. Smiling. Beaming. Today was the day. Jude was a mirror image. This was it.
And then there were the friends. The family. Those who had travelled around the globe to be there or dusted off an umbrella and walked down Bishopville Road. The ones who welcomed each other into the church that served as the backup ceremony location. The ones who swapped out dress shoes for rubber boots. The ones who moved harvest tables and pulled tents together. The ones who made gutters out of duct tape to help keep those harvest tables dry. Decorations set and candles lit. Campfire stoked. Dance floor squeegeed.
Everyone looked amazing. Everyone looked happy. That's what this is all about - coming together and celebrating. And Craig Cardiff was there to sing. Yes - that Craig Cardiff. There was even a sliver of blue sky and the rain said, "I'll take five. I'll shower over there for a bit."
And they danced into the night. And it was velvet blue.