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Nine years ago today, Dallis and I stood on the back deck of Al and Catherine Topp’s home in Los Osos, California, surrounded by family and a few close friends, and said “I Do” to one another. Each of us had been married once before, and we grasped the enormity of getting a second chance with one another.

Mark & Dallis Richardson wedding dayWe first met a couple of years earlier when her mother was hospitalized and I went to make a pastoral visit (this is a whole other story with a few interesting details that may need to be told some other time). It was more than a year after this hospital visit that we went to see a movie together (“A Beautiful Mind”) in San Luis Obispo and ended up falling in love! Within a few weeks of this first date I wrote the poem below – the first of many love poems I have written for Dallis.

Bluffs at Montana de Oro State Park

My Beautiful One

In these green hills beauty speaks its radiance
in lustrous grasses draped in dew,
in calm shade of oak and pine,
in sunlight dancing amid the shadows…
speaking, speaking for the world’s delight.

In these wild bluffs beauty risks its heart
in thunderous crash of breaking waves,
in plunging cliffs of sculptured rock,
in enormity echoing amid the sameness…
risking, risking for the world’s repair.

In these soft meadows beauty plays its aria
in mellow throat songs of nightingale,
in whispering breezes off the sea,
in sweetness rising amid the sadness…
playing, playing for the world’s pleasure.

You, my love, my beautiful one,
are the spoken radiance,
the heart’s risk,
the playful aria for me.

Happy anniversary to my beautiful one, whose presence makes life sweet!

Words (c) 2002 Mark Lloyd Richardson
Photos (c) 2003, 2010 Dallis Day Richardson

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