This morning, very early, I saw two men walking down the hall at the Y. One was black, older, kind of short and the other was from an Arabic country (accent sounded Lebanese), tall, young, probably about 25 or so. They were walking side-by-side. The younger one said, very sweetly, “I want to thank you for helping me yesterday,” and handed the older one a food item he’d prepared for him. The older one said, gently, “Oh, you didn’t have to do that.” And the younger one said, “I very much appreciated your help, please take.” The older one said, “Thank you,” and they walked together to the gym.
You might wonder why I mention their colors. Me, too. Maybe because it occurred to me that both men are members of minorities with a history of understanding and supporting each other. Maybe because I love encountering people from different cultures and backgrounds, and often do at that Y.
Anyway, it was a sweet start to this pretty, rainy day.
Lights woven around poles in the barn, haybales set up and festooned for us all to sit on. Then begins Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which makes me begin to cry. In come my sister on the arm of her deceased husband’s nephew, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen, beautiful in black and white. It’s not a long walk to the front of the barn; Rob and Anne have chosen the smaller barn for the ceremony. Then appears beautiful Anne, on the arm of my nephew, Eric, and she walks with confidence to meet her groom. The vows are lovely, facilitated by Anne’s aunt Janice, who became a minister following the death of her brother, Anne’s father, when Anne was one year old. A simple ceremony, and then they walk out to a lovely Beatles song and I have to say that the music in that little barn and for that beautiful ceremony was so perfect, my heart broke and swelled, all at once. On to the picture taking, and then to the large barn, where the reception is held. We talked with cousins from far and near and Anne and Rob’s friends and extended family. When the music started, there was only joy — for 3 or 4 hours, my niece smiled and danced and jumped and swayed and sang and pumped her fist in the air and kissed her husband and, of that time, I have to say my favorite was seeing her with her former roommate, Gillian, dance to Gaga’s Bad Romance, because, 6 or so years ago, they memorized those moves and have been delighting all of us with it ever since and it IS delightful and fun and everything good. The setting for this most wonderful celebration awed all of us — beautiful grounds (it’s where Rob and Anne board their horse, Geronimo) with a stone pool, white hydrangeas surrounding a gorgeous black fence, and a lovely wooden fence — and very, very long — surrounding the horses’ paddocks and pasture. We had a beautiful storm, just when everyone got into the big barn, and then a beautiful sunset. Oh, and I have to tell you that the ring bearer, Anne and Rob’s black Labrador Lucy, did her job beautifully — wagging her tail as she ran in from the outside right up to Anne and Rob to give them the rings. (Anne has loved animals all her life and is now a veterinarian, so, of course, she would want her animals with her on the happiest day of her life.) Those vows, that setting, this couple, their marriage. Anne and Rob, all the love in the world as you begin.