The sky was gray but it didn’t feel gray.
We had stopped in Pasadena for some Indian food and a cup of coffee. As we waited in line in at Intelligentsia, a perfectly hipster coffee shop of brick walls and pourovers, our hair and clothes still soaked from the rain, I stood wrapped in Ethan’s arms until the chill wore off. It was a long line, everyone trying to get in from the rain and warm up with a hot beverage. But we didn’t care, we could have stood in that line forever.
Ethan commented on the song that was playing, saying something smug about how it was a stupid song. He wasn’t wrong. I started bobbing my head in rhythm to the beat, with eyes closed and an expression that implied that the shallow lyrics were speaking to my soul. Then the movement traveled to my shoulders and then my hips until I was dancing in line. “This is my jam!” I said with feigned sincerity. My sarcasm was rewarded with my favorite Ethan-laugh—a laugh that sounded like hot cocoa tastes, if that cocoa where infused with the sun rays of dawn that had risen on the back 40 after a thunder storm. Rich. Strong. Good.
To me, the sky, the day, this man, it all felt golden. I felt golden. To my very core.
He got his macchiato and I got my matcha latte and we ran through the rain back to his car. Once in the car, I set to unraveling myself from my soggy scarf and sweater, opening the car door to wring out the saturated garments. Satisfied that I had gotten my clothes dry enough to not be dripping like a leaky faucet all over the car, I shut the door and turned back, surprised to find Ethan’s smiling gaze fixed on me.
“What?” I asked, returning his smile.
He leaned over and kissed me before answering. “Thanks for staying with me today.”
We had spent the day at the L.A. Arboretum and it had rained, a torrential downpour pretty much the entire time we were there. But we stayed, and we had the whole place to ourselves for hours.
“It meant a lot to me,” Ethan continued, “that you wanted to stay with me and adventure together even though it was cold and raining.”
Ethan had given me his coat to help ward off the cold and together we had walked the botanical gardens, his arm around me, stealing kisses in the coach barn and the greenhouse.
“Well,” I answered, “It meant a lot to me that you gave me your coat so that I could stay with you.”
I had sensed the importance of not complaining about the cold. I had known, somehow, it was important to him. And I adored him for giving up his coat for me.
It was one of the best days of my life and I knew something significant was transpiring, but at the time, I had no idea how much God was there weaving himself into our story. There was a secret truth that God had embedded into this memory and it was this memory and this truth that would get me through some of the hardest days of my life.