The doors open and the bride begins her processional on the arm of her father. I can see through her veil that she is smiling and crying and I am moved to my own tears.
My tears have to do with gratitude and awe. Gratitude for the love being expressed in this room, for the love that brought these two to this moment, for the affirmation provided to the gathered community by this act of marriage. A glowing future spreads out before us ---all the holiday celebrations to come between these families now joined. Though, since splintered families sit together to hear the vows and promises of commitment, surely there are mixed feelings as well. I see couples with 50, 65 years together, as well as ex-spouses trying to be civil and share joy. I imagine inner regrets, grief, questions as well as gratitude. The bottom line is that we are all here saying we believe in love and ever-after. And we do, and we feel fresh and hopeful and stronger. No matter what was true in our lives two hours ago, we are now in a comedy.
The tears continue off and on, not uncommon at weddings. Our souls are warmed by the love we witness, by memories, and by gratitude that we belong here, sharing this moment. We are reminded of other weddings, and of the missing faces and their stories. We all now have new stories, stories of this celebration-- what it was like to be bridesmaid for the first time, the mix-ups by the wedding planners, the graciousness of strangers now become family, laughter at those little things that make this wedding authentic and absolutely unique.
As a psychologist, I am amazed over and over that people are so
willing to love. Hearts broken in all kinds of ways nonetheless are
willing to open up and love again, or love fiercely in the face of
troubled relationships, disabilities, setbacks, fatigue and despair. It is such a courageous, resilient drive we have.
human heart is a great wonder and mystery. Is this the way that we come
closest to being the Image of the Divine?