The day the first horses moved into our farm, Alan took this photo. Rainbows, apparently, are our thing. One appeared the day we got engaged, in Maine.
Here’s the story of our engagement I wrote for our wedding website:
Philip proposed to Sarah on August 4, 2011, on Hog Island in Maine. He knew this was her favorite place, and now it’s his favorite place, too.
He had planned for an airplane to fly from Boston and write a message in the sky, but stormy weather prevented the airplane from reaching the island. The vacation was almost over. He needed a new plan. Always quick on his feet, he came up with another idea, one that turned out even better, in Sarah’s eyes, than skywriting.
He asked her to walk with him around the meadow and requested that she bring her glasses. “My sunglasses?” she said. “Sure.” It was starting to look as if the weather might clear. “No,” he said. “Your professor glasses.” These are what she wears when she doesn’t have her contacts in. They are nerd-type glasses, and whenever she puts them on, Philip raises his hand and says, “Professor Willeman, I have a question!” Now he told her he had a silly photo idea, and slung his camera over his shoulder. She said, “Weird, but okay, if you want,” and they started down the mowed path.
At the corner of the meadow, beside the ocean, they stopped. He asked her to put on the glasses. Then he said he had a question, got down on one knee, and started to cry. He said a number of very sweet things, then pulled the ring from his shorts pocket and asked her to marry him. She said yes.
When she finally looked toward the house, she noticed major porch activity—her mother running circles, people banging the screen door. It turned out they were setting out champagne, crafting a flower crown, and, in her stepfather’s case, observing Sarah and Philip through binoculars from the comfort of his Adirondack chair, giving a play-by-play narration. They all knew Sarah would say yes; they all knew Philip was the one.
The sun came out over the island, though it was still raining on the bay. An epic croquet game ensued, along with guzzling of champagne, texting of the news, a few calls, and the arrival, by sailboat, of Sarah’s aunt Elizabeth and uncle Michael. As they approached the island, they saw what everyone on the island saw, too: a bright rainbow hitting the beach.