Saucier — Slow dance


At a wedding, we found ourselves at a table with a couple who were good friends with the groom’s parents.

The men had worked together for over 30 years, and the four stayed close in retirement.

The man stood when we came over. He was tall, well over 6 feet, with a rail-like posture. His looks were somewhere between a distinguished statesman and a Christmas-morning grandpa.

She rose, too, grabbing her husband’s arm to help herself. She continued to hold it above the elbow, standing close as he spoke.

She may have been a little younger than his 80 years. She was also tall and straight, except for the lean on his arm.

Her gray waves fell to her shoulders, framing a still beautiful face and a smile that was almost immodest in an inadvertent brag of happiness.

We waded around in the shallows of conversation until we found some common ground. He did most of the talking and she seemed not to care.

When asked something, she spoke in a slow, almost labored way. Still, her effervescent eyes gave life to her words, and their measured delivery invited attention.

At the buffet, he added food to the quaking plate she tried to hold out for him. When they returned to the table, he seated her and then brought tea and water.

The efforts of her eating were hard to ignore. It took time and concentration to get food on her fork. Then, she’d carefully lift that quivering forkful to her mouth, never losing a morsel.

After the meal, we excused ourselves to visit at another table. Later, I saw them dancing. They were mesmerizing, gliding across the floor, lost in each other’s gaze, as if this was their wedding dance.

Given the grace and ease of their movement, he must have been slightly lifting her so that her feet and body more easily followed his. But she was doing the lifting as well — she so lightened his heart that his feet barely touched the floor.

I don’t remember the song that was playing, but it had to be teeming with memories. There was far more of their coupled life behind them than before them, but in that moment, they gazed with joy in both directions.

I always wondered what happened to the couple at that wedding feast in Cana. If they, too, were transformed, were the water changed into wine, I’ll bet they looked something like this.