Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prelude

Every family is weird, of course. And ours is no exception.  We can walk into a place and take it over, because we aren't what you'd call 'shrinking violets'.  We dropped our bags in my friends' house, took it over this week-end--all 15 of us!  We walked into the foyer of that wedding chapel, and took it over--all 15 of us.  Dressed up in kilts (again!), fancy dresses, spit-shined and polished, we were ready to celebrate, wish the groom (one of us) and bride (about to pledge her troth to become one of us) well, and just plain make a grand old day of it. A day none of us would forget.  We'd all come a long way for it--from Boston, Southern California, Eastern Washington and up the I-5 corridor.  So we put on our party togs, and there we were: three rows strong, bearing witness to this holy moment.

It was a beautiful day--beautiful outside, beautiful within. A lovely bride, a handsome groom, a crowd of loved ones celebrating the two-becoming-one who'd been waiting for this day almost since the day they met, I think.  Amazing how that can happen, how people can know so instantly, as they did a year ago.  We didn't have much time with them--but then, they barely had eyes for anyone but each other, I think. And we were with our people, and it was all very good.

I have a feeling even if the other folks at that wedding didn't know us, they'll remember we were there.  And, as the Beve would say, "All without alcohol!"  We just know how to enjoy ourselves.  Soccer jerseys on all ten cousins to honor the groom who's played since he was walking, making go-tunnels through which all comers had to walk through (whether they wanted to or not...poor things) Taking pictures, laughing at inside jokes, catching up.  It was a great day. 

But I was reminded by my nephew, the groom's older (married) brother and best man, of how weddings are just the prelude.  A bride dresses up, looks gorgeous, the groom amazing and everything is perfect...but it's just one day. It might have been a big deal to get to this day--pretty stressful, nerve-wracking, maybe the biggest risk one takes, to pledge to love this one person, to be committed to this one person forever.  K made the toast at the reception, and challenged his brother and new wife to take the same kind of risk every day in their marriage that they were taking that day, to continue to risk themselves to love more, reveal more, grow more every day of their marriage.  They were good words, not just for the bride and groom, but for all of us.  Take off our wedding garb, put away the finery--then start risking!  That's when the true work begins.  The wedding, as beautiful as it is, is only prelude in a long marriage.

Kind of like life on earth...only prelude.

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