Several months ago I sent out the happy news of Phil and Jeri's upcoming wedding. I got a lot of happy messages of congratulations, but did not hear from one friend. After some time passed, I finally called her about some unrelated matter and during the course of our conversation, I asked her if she was going to be coming to the wedding.
"I don't think so," came the clipped reply.
When I asked why, she said she felt that Jeri and Phil were not taking this whole thing seriously enough. I was, not surprisingly, very hurt...and angry, but not surprised.
This friend is a born again Christian, a loyal Catholic, and her religion is the center of her life. Her conversation is sprinkled with "thank the Lord" and other expressions of her faith. She felt, she told me, that Jeri and Phil were just planning "a big party on the beach" and that the whole marriage thing was just some sort of a lark, without much serious thought.
I should add that she has never met Phil, hasn't seen Jeri in years and has absolutely NO information on which to base her opinion. We had several passionate e-mail exchanges and then decided to agree to disagree. She will not be attending the wedding, nor do I want her here any more.
But I wish she could see how Jeri and Phil glow when they look at each other. I wish she could see the thought that is going into this "lark." I wish she could hear the story of the rings.
The story of the rings begins in Provincetown, MA. Jeri and Phil took a ferry ride from Boston to Provincetown several weeks ago. While there they visited an antique shop and found their rings. They are lovely, plain, but with a bit of a design (not matching), but perfect for the two of them. They bought them.
Then they decided that in case there was some bad karma attached to buying second hand rings, Phil had a friend who is a shaman. They invited her to come and bless the rings, which she did.
She suggested that they now build a nest with all sorts of good/positive things and keep the rings in this nest until time for the wedding.
They found a small box and added herbs from their landlady's garden to start the nest. They then added sage from their friend KC's garden, some flower petals from my mother's garden and a feather they found on the sidewalk in front of the county courthouse the day we went to get their wedding license.
Jeri took a bike ride along the American River and picked up another feather to add to the nest.
They visited the cemetery where Dave and Paul are buried, placed the rings on the grave marker, and gathered grass from around the edges of the grave itself.
Then they wanted us to add something from around our house before they left for Santa Barbara, so we added leaves from the apple tree from which I cooked apples for an apple pie for them, petals from rose bushes I bought for Tom and Dave to celebrate the 49ers winning their first World Series, and part of a leaf from an iris plant that had come from my favorite aunt's garden after she died, some 20 years ago.
They are working to include everyone and make it so meaningful.
This is no frivolous wedding. Everything is being done with love, with the intent to include everybody in the planning, and to make it as close to nature as possible.
How much closer to "God" can you get than making everything as in tune with nature as possible?
People are flying in from all over the country for this wedding. My friend lives a short drive from here.
I think she's going to miss one hell of a party...and perhaps one of the most "meaningful" weddings in a long time. I think even Jesus would enjoy it.
Even if the bride will be playing whiffle ball afterwards.