After the wedding, when the guests have returned by car and airplane to their separate homes, and your brain comes off of the social high of meeting, greeting and paying attention to details, there is a quiet, warm place of relaxation. This may be called the honeymoon for the newly married couple, and it may be a kind of honeymoon for the mother of the bride, too! I am thinking of all the things I most appreciated about the week, all the kindnesses and beauty, all the timeless moments when events folded on top of each other to create a curved sense of space and time. Here are a few that I am holding dear right now:
— I learned that my sister Sarah and my brother David, the artists in the family, have been secretly working away at projects and have gifted my daughter with some amazing artifacts that I’m sure will become family heirlooms for generations. My brother painted an acrylic fantasy featuring the spirit animals of Susan (pirate squirrel) and Andy (Ninja otter) and framed it, hoping only to add a mobile vestibule in which to hang it wherever they might take up residence. I saw this painting only in a photo on his handheld phone, but it was colorful and impressive even so. He has designed fantasy art for a card game (Magic) in the past, so his skills are quite professional. My sister pieced together a crib sized quilt (*oh, happy thought!*) from Celtic knot squares that she’s been working on for 20 years, with a border that she began when she was a member of SCA (the Society of Creative Anachronism). She was delighted to finally have an occasion to finish it and give it to the appropriately appreciative person. Here’s a photo:
–My mother, Anne Louise, who walked into the park where the wedding took place with the help of her trusty, collapsible cane, now has a new nickname. She went from Granne Louise to “Grandalf”, a wizard of wisdom and wit and nurturing. The photographer wanted to adopt her as her own grandmother because she reminded her of her heroine, Eleanor Roosevelt, and she posted a great photo of my mom on her blog, showing off her fly moves to the disco groove on the dance floor. When I told my mother about the photographer’s comment, she replied, “Eleanor couldn’t dance!” (My mom, one-upping Eleanor Roosevelt!!!) She gave a reading as part of the ceremony, quoting the Bible, John Ford, William Shakespeare, the Book of Common Prayer, my father and her self, all cleverly woven into rhyme and verse. It made me weep in rehearsal. Here’s a photo of me & “Grandalf” processing down the aisle after the ceremony:
— My dance with my daughter was very special, and I have yet to see a photographic image of it. We chose to dance to “What A Wonderful World” sung by Louis Armstrong. The first time I heard that song was when Susan sang it with the Barrington Children’s Choir on tour in Europe after her 8th grade year in school. I went along as a chaperone. That trip, all the associations that I have with that song, and with her father singing it, too, and also David Attenborough’s video, make it a perfect choice. “I hear babies cry/ I watch them grow/ They’ll learn much more/ Than I’ll ever know/ And I think to myself….what a wonderful world!”
I will probably bask in the glow of this honeymoon for a while to come, and post bits and pieces about it as they come to mind. How can I keep from singing? From sharing? From being so happy that love and family and hope and future are still a part of this world and of lives being shaped in this century?