Early Friday morning, I headed to the airport with a few of my favorite people. It was still dark when we arrived, but the sun was dawning on this new day as our flight departed the 90 degree south and set forth to the 60 degree north. We were invited to stand witness and help celebrate the marriage and handfasting of two people we adore.
These two beloveds are among the couples I know that make me envy their togetherness. You can see each light up at the sight of the other. Their love is effervescent and warm… almost innocent with the obvious open-heartedness they hold for one another… as if neither has ever been hurt by another. What a beautiful mystery… fearless love at 40.
Lovers of all things created by Mother Nature, the venue was a campground in Bar Harbor, Maine… recently closed for the season. Not a camper, I found a beautiful spot across the street – a seaside cottage with two bathrooms and a fireplace. This provided the best of both worlds, as far as I’m concerned. One of the brides is the co-founder of our monthly Supper Club. Five members were able to attend, and in this cottage we stayed… along with my life-long friend, who is my favorite adventure buddy – and my +1. Together, we were one tenth of those gathered to hold space and reflect the light of love back at these two beings who capture the hearts of all they meet.
Our favorite Unitarian Minister presided over the sacred ceremony, though she would argue she won’t be ordained until January – she has always held this sort of role… a spiritual guide… for many of us. The brides chose to be handfasted, which is a Celtic wedding tradition from which we get the term ‘tie the knot’. I was asked to seek the blessing of their guests before the ceremony began, and carried the cloth that would bind their hands and their love to each guest and informed them that we are infusing this cloth with our blessings and good wishes for the marriage of our brides, so that their lives together would be eternally woven with the beauty and wonder that we each would bestow upon them. Each loved one placed their hands upon the cloth, closed their eyes, and said a silent prayer. When our Minister took her place between two trees, beneath a magickal chandelier, the Celtic cloth that contained our love was upon the marriage altar.
The first bride entered the clearing through a wooded path, revealing herself to be like the faery queen emerging from her hidden realm. She was stunning in white chiffon and lace… and with the sight of her we had no choice but to fall into this dream. The second bride entered the circle from the opposite side of the clearing, donning a navy blue suit and bare feet – an homage to her betrothed, whose feet are rarely oppressed by the burden of shoes. She was lit by the internal flame of joy that is ever present when these two make eye contact. The entire circle was aglow!
Each bride honored their families, those they came with and those with whom they were becoming one, and returned to the altar of their new beginning. Their hands and hearts were bound by the minister, vows of wisdom and wit were shared with the glide of rings onto fingers, and tear-filled eyes met their tearful, grinning congregation. A cacophony of joyful noise escorted the happy couple as they exited the circle, once alone and now together, back into the faery realm from which they came. But the dream didn’t end there… it continued nearby with a whimsical reception beneath a canopy of white. Tables were set with mismatched china collected and shipped by the brides, all to be donated to charity upon departure. Table assignments were identified with names on postcards from the region in which we gathered, dating back to the 30’s. The tables were marked with the names of pets rescued and cared for by our faery queen bride. Imagine my dismay when I learned the ‘Oprah’ table at which we were seated was dedicated to the memory of her dearly departed tarantula! The error was quickly remedied with a switch of spider name to doggy name… she loves me that much. Ha!
With practically zero light pollution in the area in which we had gathered, more stars than I have seen in one place in my lifetime filled the sky as nightfall joined the party. The Milky Way didn’t want to miss the celebration. A large carpet placed upon the grass became a dance floor and the trees that hugged this clearing danced with sparkling lights projected to bring the starlight a bit closer to our reach. My life-long friend and I used to go dancing as teenagers in the late 80’s, and feeling the youthful vibration of love and red wine, we made our way to nature’s dance floor to dance among the stars. This is where we spent most of the evening… with old friends and new… like whirling dervishes in ecstatic devotion to the mystery and majesty of love openly expressed and shared. These moments of celebration are when the divine is truly made manifest in our lives.
On this weekend made possible by the love of two nurtured by many, we were delighted to make new friends and grow our intentional community. I love the way that joyfully authentic people attract more of the same, and how the blessing of being invited into a circle of such kinship envelops all who take the hands of those gathered. Regardless of geography from which each traveled, whether the years upon the earth are many or few, if we’ve known each other for 40 years or 4 days… we have become ONE. And we are grateful!
So, here’s to our beloved brides! Here’s to bountiful blessings of love, light, laughter, joy, happiness, peace, prosperity, good health, longevity, moonlight and magick upon their marriage. May we all be blessed to know such love within this lifetime, and gather in a circle of belonging to bear witness to the beauty of Mother Nature who holds us lovingly in her embrace. We are so blessed!