Column: Love blooms at SullivanMunce

Amy Vandewielle and Adam Branch at the SullivanMunce Cultural Center. (Photo by Donna monday)
Amy Vandewielle and Adam Branch at the SullivanMunce Cultural Center. (Photo by Donna monday)

Commentary by Donna Monday


Flowers weren’t all that bloomed at the SullivanMunce Cultural Center on a recent Saturday. Nope. Love bloomed there, too. At exactly 3 p.m.

That’s when Amy Vandewielle and Adam Branch walked through the doors of the museum. Amy was there to see a “poetry exhibition on love.”

It’s the first time in my life I’ve felt a part of a wedding proposal conspiracy.

Adam had been there earlier in the day to talk with Cynthia Young, museum director. I was selling tickets for the garden tour, and he told me his plans.

He had decided some time ago that a museum would be a great place to propose. And, since he wanted to include an original poem as part of his proposal, he wanted to find a poetry museum.

He’d Googled “poetry museum.” What popped up was the SullivanMunce Cultural Center. (That’s because the poetry group “Poetry on Brick Street” meets there monthly.) Adam called the number and talked with Cynthia. Together they worked on his plan.

On Saturday morning, he and Cynthia set about displaying the poem Adam had penned. He’d had each page printed in a beautiful script and mounted. Together they found four tables on which to display the poem. The final page stood on a lovely table scape designed by Mary Ellen Stout for the Garden Tour exhibit. The entire display was done in shades of lavender and purple.

“That’ll work,” grinned Adam. “That’s her favorite color.” He left and said they would be back together at 3 p.m.

I should add that the final stanza of his poem reads like this: Love is taking that jump/ Getting on bent knee/Love is asking the one you adore…

That’s where the poem ended. Obviously, Adam was to drop on bended knee there at the purple table and say, “Will you marry me?”

All went as planned. With everyone at SullivanMunce except Amy knowing what was up, Adam guided her through the reading of each page of what he had told her was the “poetry exhibit on love.”

She never guessed he was the poet. She totally bought the “love poetry exhibit” story until he dropped to one knee.

At that point Amy screamed. Cameras clicked. Even Adam doesn’t know if he said the line, “Will you marry me?”

Hugging and kissing ensued. And more kissing. And still more kissing.

I then said, “Can we take this as a yes?”

“Yes!” said Amy. “Yes! Yes!”

And that’s what happened at the museum on Saturday.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of poetry.