Many years ago, four members of my family were cast in a community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof – my late husband, myself, my son and my daughter. My son, fabulous dancer that he is, performed in the Russian cossack dance and the Jewish bottle dance. To bring this full circle, we will be celebrating my son’s wedding ceremony this weekend.
The wedding scene in the musical features a beautiful tune called “Sunrise, Sunset”.
“…Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older, when did they?
What words of wisdom can I give them,
How can I help to ease their way?
Now they must learn from one another,
Day by day.”
To Josh and Daena: may all your sunrises and sunsets together fill you with joy and wonder!
Today is a GRAND day!! It’s my birthday, actually. My birthday present to myself 3 years ago was to buy my first digital camera. It is not a phone; it is a Canon. I do not upload ‘apps’ on my flip phone; I talk or text. Therefore, I do not have a Mesh gallery. I have been using the WordPress gallery display for almost all of my photo challenge posts, and I like how it looks.
A grand day is a day of living in the moment; a day of real, physical interaction with living things. I have lots of those days, and sometimes, I have my camera with me. It groups all the photos I took in a single day together, so I do have chronological records. I admit, though, it takes a long time to download, edit, and upload them into WordPress to post them in a blog. I do not hate technology, but I do want to be very careful and aware of how I use it and how much I use it.
So, what does it mean to ‘share’ a day? My definition will always include being present and only tangentially include technological media. That said, here is a gallery of photos from a very grand day that I shared with my family 3 months ago. My brother’s wedding day:
Perfect timing! Believe it or not, this week’s photo challenge coincides with the first anniversary of my daughter’s wedding. Susan & Andy became engaged on July 28, 2012 and married one year later. We joined them for outdoor ceremonies in Madison, WI both years. The first year, the temperature was in the 90s (Fahrenheit). And humid.
For the wedding, although the sun was shining, the mercury never reached 70!
This morning, as Steve & I walked to a local breakfast cafe, I was wearing a sweater and a nylon jacket…it was 59 degrees out. Summer may not always be HOT, but here in the Midwest, it comes bearing flowers and greenery. Which is a wonderful way to show Affection, Tenderness, Beauty, Grace…and LOVE! I’m lovin’ summer here in Wisconsin!
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?
Creating a masterpiece…out of your life. Making decisions, making meaning, making changes, making love, making sense, making it count, making the most of it. I dedicate this post to my daughter, Susan, who made a big addition to her masterpiece on Sunday. Congratulations! I’m proud of you, dear!
The excitement is growing. I cannot be silent! My oldest daughter is getting married in July and just sent me a link to the blog post of her engagement photo session. I invite you to enjoy this whimsical, artistic and thoroughly lovely tribute HERE. Check out that Lord of the Rings paper flower! A thousand words to make a picture…
Susan is currently finishing up her Masters in Linguistics. She and Andy met as Spelling Bee rivals when Susan was 11 years old and Andy was 12. He won. She hated that…but was drawn to him anyway (rather obsessively). Finally, when he graduated from Middle School and could no longer compete, she won. Then they were on the Scholastic Bowl team in High School together. Can I really post about these word nerds without using words?! So, pardon my departure from your expectations.
I have rather a meager collection of photos of them together, but I’m sure that will change dramatically over the years! I am busily working 4 part time jobs and not taking many new photographs or spending much time on this blog, but I did want to share this highlight of my week…just because it is a source of joy for me. Finding a kindred spirit, a best friend, a fellow nerd, in this socially-driven but often shallow century may not be a miracle, but it is something to celebrate. I salute Susan & Andy for figuring out who they are, what they value, how to live from that and how to live in partnership with each other as those things evolve. Not easy, but definitely worth the energy. And look what fun they have doing it!! My deepest respect (and a bit of pride!) goes out to them.