The Wedding Chronicles, Part 3

The day was brilliant, and the wedding took place by the sea.

Molly and Alex had written vows that included references to water--they had met in it, the pool at Connecticut College.  And it flows and surrounds and falls from the sky and brings everyone and everything together.  As they spoke to each other, they held hands, and just behind them the cove glittered in sunlight.

The day was joyful.  We were so happy for Molly and Alex, and to be together in such a spirit of love, to be with people so open and positive.  People had traveled long distances to be there: from California, Texas, even Wales.  The weather was pure September: warm in the sun, cool as the afternoon progressed.

The wedding began with a moment of silence, for beloved friends and family who were not there.  Alex's stepmother Deb played cello and Maureen and I noticed an osprey fly overhead.  It was a moment, probably not that meaningful or significant, or maybe it was.  How hokey, to look up in the sky and see a fish hawk and get choked up thinking of who wasn't with us.

Molly held a bouquet of blue hydrangeas.  She'd woven the stems with a bracelet made of sea glass given to me by her mother.  I remember the day Molly visited the cottage at Point O'Woods and spotted it on my bureau.  She'd gone straight for it, picked it up as if it had called her.  I suppose it had.  She didn't have to ask--I gave it to her.

Maureen and I sat in the front row.  We'd been instructed to by Molly, who wanted us in her line of vision.  We are her aunts, her family.  Mia, her cousin, was a bridesmaid.  Alex's family embraces her as if she was their own.  All the toasts and comments and conversations and actions say as much.  They have taken her to their hearts.  It was moving to see.

Michael, who officiated, spoke about the mysteries of water and of life.

The reception was held under a tent.  It was festive and fun, and with Twigg at our table full of laughter and stories.  He and Audrey Loggia were also "family of the bride."   The food was delicious.  The band began to play, and Alex's aunt Penfield came for me and Maureen and told us it was up to the aunties to start the dancing.  Which we did, no problem.

P.S. Arleen, I posted the picture of Molly's gold shoes on my Facebook page.

The Wedding Chronicles, Part 2

From the time she was a little girl, she thought brides wore gold shoes.  It was like her own personal fairy tale, a talismanic necessity to ensure love spells on her wedding day.  All through life, in the back of her mind, that idea remained.   As she grew up and fell in love, and was proposed to, and began to plan her wedding, details came to life.  A beautiful dress, September flowers, a romantic hideaway by the sea--the country inn where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall spent their honeymoon.  The chance to get married by the water, in a part of Connecticut she knows and loves well, with white boats on moorings and blue waves sparkling out to Block Island.  But the shoes were proving elusive.

The shoes couldn't be too gold.  Nothing bright or garish.  More like gossamer, spun from sunlight.  Perhaps they didn't exist and her childhood dream wouldn't come true.  She's not a material girl.  She doesn't shop and buy and acquire.  The things that matter to her are her fiance, their dog, their families, nature, the sea, and really good frozen yogurt.  But still: would the wedding be the wedding if the bride didn't wear gold shoes?

She mentioned this to a ancient family member.  This witch of the north lives in a crooked house between the village and the deep woods.  She knows love spells long buried, and unearthed one to conjure the perfect pair of gold shoes with red soles.  She sent them by Fedex to young Molly.

Now, with her wedding a week away, Molly speaks of those shoes as one of the "tricks in her back pocket."  A wise woman from Cambridge calls them Molly's "magic shoes" because they were given with love, and because it's awesome in life to have one of one's heart's desires delivered overnight directly to one's front door.

I love the idea of "tricks in her back pocket."  We all need a few of those.  For rainy days, or lonely days, or times of being overwhelmed by the grace and trepidation and enormity of one of life's great moments of passage.  It's rare that, even in the best and happiest times, we don't feel some twinge of "I wish."  I wish for a sunny day, I wish for the bride and groom to have a long and thrilling and joyful life, I wish everyone they love could be present.  I wish for peace.  I wish for the sea to sparkle like crazy that day.

Good to have some gold shoes, or in my case, a handful of moonstones, in my back pocket for this very occasion.  I visit the witch of the north now and then, and she's very generous with moonstones.