Can it be a week ago — more now — that we celebrated a wonderful wedding for Bronwyn and her new husband Bob? I cannot believe it. My photos do not do it justice, still I smile as I look through them, images like jewels, slipping through my fingers—
Gorgeous weather. House full of family. Every corner full.. On the one rainy evening, Bronwyn’s Fire Circle comes inside, symbolized by a table full of candles. The table surrounded by a circle of aunts, sisters, mothers, cousins, friends, warm-hearted women speaking with love about marriage and relationship, encircled again by buckets of wedding flowers.
Then preparations…and practice…
… And feasting! …speeches, and songs…-
Suddenly it’s the wedding day– bright sun, dewy grass under my feet and dogwood petal shower for my girl. A sunny room full of bride and bridesmaids getting beautiful — and little granddaughters running back and forth admiring.
Our new house is suddenly complete, very much a home.
Then hurry to dress — to arrive at the cathedral and watch our daughter and her groom standing for photographs, overlooking the valley below. No time to find out from Owen, “What are you thinking?…” From your beginning there was always the two of you, sharing bottles and laughter.
Our new soon-to-be in-laws beaming, gracious in gorgeous togs. Everyone smiling — groomsmen, bridesmaids, parents, grandparents — holding each other close because life is so precious. Even those who have passed from us seem close, holding us with love–
Heart-opening vows to each other, against the stone stained by purple light… then joy
beaming on their way back down the aisle.
Everything too fast– too fast.
I admit I’m greedy. I cling. It ‘s hard to let go of all that family, and say goodbye. It has taken days to recover. The bride’s room is emptied of its bride, except for a spill of flower petals on the floor. The candles are still placed, discarded flowers. I can’t bring myself to put the furniture away where it goes. My wonderful sisters head back to their own homes… No little granddaughter voices pipe in the hallways, no one to ride on the concrete rabbit in the garden. The dollies, so happy to be rediscovered after their long hibernation, sit on the couch, hair askew.
Still, the memory of the beautiful couple driving off into the sunshine on Sunday afternoon, loaded with gifts, to build their first home together in Atlanta stays with me, and nourishes me. Extravagant waving. Farewell to a prior life – even though I still see my little girl collecting things in her shopping cart, and adorned in costumes, and the teenager singing in the woods, the art student exploring expression in clay adventuring in Italy — those days are really done.
“Nostalgia is a trap,” my mom once said.
My neighbor stopped by to congratulate us. She says I must teach her how to play Pooh Sticks over the Pennypack Creek. Not the same as playing it with granddaughters Marlee and Skye…but I’ll take it.