Monday, September 5, 2016

The Wedding

I didn't give a toast on Saturday night. But this is what I would have said if I did. I would have riffed on the saying "it takes a village to make a child." I would have said that it also takes a village to make a wedding. Everything from the rehearsal dinner on Friday to the dog watching and wedding photography on Saturday was provided by friends or friends of friends.

The marriage itself, of course, is up to the two people involved. But a community has now witnessed Suzanne and Appolinaire's vows. And I could feel the love and support of that community swell up behind me as I sat in the front row watching my daughters, all three of them, walk down the aisle of mulch that we laid only a few weeks ago (again, with the help of family and friends). That love and support is like money in the bank for the young couple, something they can draw on through years of life together.

There is much to say about all of this. Too much. My heart is full right now.

But while the tent is still up (the rental company comes for it today) and the magic is still fresh, let me just say that the backyard will be forever transformed by the presence of those we love who came (some from as far away as Paris) to celebrate with us. Dear family, neighbors who watched Suzanne grow up, friends from high school and college and work and childrearing. Appolinaire's best man Fidel, who grew up in a village not far from him and speaks the same mother tongue.

The big events of life rise up like tall peaks through the fog of daily living. You plan for them, work for them and often wonder if they're worth the effort. But once they happen (and even as they're happening if you're lucky, in moments or snatches of moments), you know they're worth every penny, every hour. Because they stop time; they define and sanctify the everyday.

The wedding is behind us now. But it's all around us, too. And it always will be.


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