Saturday, August 1, 2015

Wasn't That A Wedding!?!?

Wasn’t that a wedding!! 

Simple Words + Family + Good Friends + Good Friends = Great Party!!!

I was the first one up and enjoyed about an hour sitting watching the sun rises as I reflected on the goodness and beauty that has filled my life in the past number of months.  As I watched the sun climb higher in the sky I was reminded of all of those who whom I have turned in the midst of my challenges and there I have received the light of acceptance and encouragement: love.

My JetBoil came in handy.  I made coffee for myself and when Gabe (one  of Cindy’s closest friends) crawled out of her tent she was quick to accept an offer of a cup of coffee.We sat for another hour and talked of hopes, dreams, travels and life struggles.  Good conversation, and Starbucks coffee (instant)… what better way to start the day!

The morning and early afternoon involved last minute preparations including the paperwork.  Two forms for the province of Ontario, the Church registry and the Marriage Certificate… there is much less paperwork for funerals!  

Once the forms were all filled out correctly I turned my attention to the “altar” – a focal point for the service.  This is a biker wedding so the bike’s had to play a role… also, we had to incorporate Joe’s flowers.  It all came together beautifully!  Jim's bike is on the left and Duane's is on the right... And, I must say, I was even more pleased when I found that there were some table clothes available.  Putting the white table cloth behind the bikes just made the colours pop… and I’m pretty pleased with the results.  Your mileage may vary depending on how much you always wanted to be an interior designer!!

I was pleasantly surprised when things started more or less on time.  The last one to be ready was Jeremy.

The bridal party was in the driveway and Jeremy was still trying to get his tie done properly.

Frank had one last swig of his beer and we set off down the aisle and turned to watch the bridal party come in.

I always enjoy watching the faces of the bride and groom and the bride walks to the front of the Church… watching for the connection, the hope, the longing, the commitment… and I saw it again today.  It’s a beautiful thing…
My Aunt Sheila
Duane's Mom.

Yes, we make promises, we exchange vows and we do so in that moment with the hope of a lifetime – but – we never really know how things will turn out… and yet people continue to do so… couple after couple… walking toward each other so that they might walk  together in hope toward the future… because they have fell in love…

I won’t bore you with the words of the whole wedding ceremony, but here are the words that I shared as part of the reflection:
Duane and Cindy, it is an honour to be with you today to mark the celebration of your love for each other, to join in the party, and to reflect with you for just a few moments on the mystery and joy of love – that leads two people to make commitments such as you are making to each other today…  
Some might wonder why (as your Auntie Grace – my mother did) why someone at your age would choose to make this step… to go to all this effort… when for all intents and purposes after a year you are common-law anyways…?
And, I think, no I know, its got something - everything to do with celebrating the mystery of love that you’ve fallen into with each other… 
 A dear friend recently sent me these words and I offer them to you:


Fall in love with someone who wants to know your favorite color
and just how you like your coffee.

Fall in love with someone who loves the way you laugh
and would do absolutely anything to hear it.

Fall in love with someone who puts their head on your chest
just to hear your heart beat.

Fall in love with someone who kisses you in public
and is proud to show you off to anyone they know.

Fall in love with someone who makes you question why you were afraid
to fall in love in the first place.

Fall in love with someone who would never ever want to hurt you.

Fall in love with someone who falls in love with your flaws
and thinks you are perfect just the way you are.

Fall in love with someone who thinks that you are the ONE
they would love to wake up to each day.
~ Author Unknown
 So yes, we are here to celebrate the love that you have found in each other…
 With all that falling… love is risky.  To love is to put yourself out there – as you are, all that you have been, all that you might be, all you’ve done wrong and right, to let down the masks and walls that you may have built up over the years… there are no guarantees, no warranties implied or otherwise…  to love is to be vulnerable… it is to allow yourself to be known at your deepest level: hopes, fears, longings, worries, wishes and desires… 
But in the falling, love is hope-filled.  To love is to believe in the future – that there is a future worth living for, a future worth investing in and building towards.  To love is to know that the sun shines behind the clouds and that even in the midst of the most challenging of days that it will shine again and that together, “You’ll figure it out…” 
And when we fall… together… love is acceptance.  To love is to accept.  To accept your partner as she or he is – and to know the acceptance of your partner for who you are right then and now… Because, lets face it, we can’t change anyone other than ourselves… and to go into a relationship thinking that she or he is going to change is a recipe for unhappiness… 
And in the end… love is commitment.  To love is to make a commitment to your partnership.  To love is to wish and work always toward the best for your partner… to support her or him in growing into the person she or she is as an individual – for in doing so – your partnership is stronger, because you as individuals are stronger…
 Love is beautiful.  To love is to feel that the world is fresh and new, that you can do anything, that nothing can go wrong… the sky is bluer, the sun is brighter, the trees and flowers more vibrant… and the bike more powerful… 
Cindy and Duane, may you cherish and treasure always the beauty of your love for each other!  Hold the feelings close to your heart and remember always the joy of this day…  for, it is this love, this risky hope filled, acceptance and commitment to each other that we celebrate with you. 

And with those words, Duane and Cindy then exchanged vows and rings, enjoyed a beautifully deep kiss to seal their marriage, signed necessary papers and then deemed that the party could begin in earnest!!!  And so it did.

Chairs were quickly rearranged around tables.  Food brought by friends and family alike soon laden the buffet table.  BBQ chicken and BBQ pork cooked throughout the day in the center of the gathering space was set out.  The bar was opened by Duane and Cindy… and thus the party began… and will likely be going on for some time…

Ring given to me by
Duane and Cindy
It’s been an honour to make this journey and celebrate with Duane and Cindy and connect with other family members that unfortunately I only usually see at funerals.

Distance plays as part.  So do family dynamics.  The patriarch of this family, my mom’s brother died very young and as a result the connection to the rest of the family is perhaps a bit tenacious.   Over the past few years Duane and I, despite our very different lifestyles have become very close.  Perhaps it’s the memory of him being the first to every really treat me as a fellow adult… perhaps its our common affinity for motorcycles… or, perhaps it something deeper… rooted in the woundedness of our psyche?  Whatever it is, I’m glad I came… and I do hope he and Cindy remember the swim in the middle of the ride (first time he’s ever done that he admitted) and cherish the moments – each moment as it unfolds in their married life together.


Tomorrow I’ll be on the road early heading east with a stop in Montreal to meet someone who I hope will be a friend I’ve simply not met yet…  I’ll then lay over somewhere past Montreal with a goal of being back in Sackville by noon…

… on the Sabbath Road … in celebration of love: risky, hope filled, acceptance and commitment…

#sothisislove
so this is how it begins
a sideways hug
in a parking lot

is this love?  can it be?

when I wasn’t expecting
anything except a friend
dinner and a walk
she came to me
open and accepting
quiet and reflective
strong and independent

so this is love:
every place go
I think of her
and every thing I do
I want to do with her
every thought I have
I want to share with her
every song I hear
reminds me she is near
every dream she has
I would help her reach

so this is love:
a feeling so intense
a longing to be close
a hope for all tomorrows
to know you are connected
held close and accepted

as you are

                                    LAB  
                                           July 2015
      

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