The gentle mists rose from the dark water in the early morning light. In a stray whisper of wind they curled and swirled, danced and dipped, in the dappled rays of the rising sun. A red wing blackbird sang in the tall cattails. A silent dark shadow came in low over the water as a great blue heron arrived in for breakfast. Sprightly daisies and pungent mint competed for sunshine on the far bank. Three matted circles of grass showed where the deer had bedded down for the night. God had created a new day – silver, green, and gold.

The crows feasting on McDonald’s fries squalled away as Annie secured her bicycle to the empty bike rack in the parking lot. She shook out her brown curly hair and traded her bike helmet for a Red’s ball cap and headed down the gravel path. The colors of her iridescent bike shirt paled in comparison with the violent blue of a painted bunting as it flew by. The ruby throat of a hummingbird flashed as it sped from blossom to blossom. She stopped and yielded the right of way until the long black snake finished crossing the path. It seemed to be in no hurry. A patch of blue sky ahead signaled the nearness of the open water. Would he be there?

Below the dam, Tom reeled in his empty line and jumped up from his rocky seat. In the deep pool beneath the dam the fish were still sleeping, but he had other more important fish to fry. He finished the last of the coffee in his thermos and paused to check in his jacket pocket. Yes, the ring was still there. He wiped the light spray of the waterfall from his face. He couldn’t sing, but shouted anyway, “Oh What A Beautiful Morning”, from “Oklahoma”. The long brown heads of the cattails nodded in rhythm. The bullfrog on the bank dove for cover. Today was the day! He bounded up the rocky steps. Would she be there?

Their eyes locked in ecstatic embrace across the water. He sent her an e-mail, “Dear Wonderful,  I write with warm affection to thank you for caring for me. From the first heartthrob of our enchantment, you charmed me to adore you. That happy glow of infatuation – and I must admit, of passion and lust also – has cooled to intimacy and tenderness. Sometimes in your perfect moments, which are many, I go gaga and get stary eyed. Sometimes I feel the plain old warm fuzzies of sentimentality. It is the constancy of your caring that tells me how you feel about me. Will you marry me? In Adoration…”

She answered, “Dear Super Wonderful, what can I say? I’m speechless. You affirm me when I doubt. You encourage me when I’m down. You hear me when I speak. Joy of my life, yes I’ll marry you.”

He said, “I’m moon struck!”

She said, “My answer, my beloved, is conditional: Everyone wears a mask at the wedding and Ill kiss you after testing.”

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