Cramped fingers from tying together tiny booklets of poetry by Rumi. The smell of lavender on my hands, permeating my clothing, the whole house. Bits of blue ribbon on the tabletop and on the floor. A homecooked meal out on the back porch. The smell of citronella candles. Glasses of wine, cups of coffee, tennis on the television, a house filling with people and love and laughter. Voices in the kitchen, in the hall, steps on the stairs. Hugs and handshakes. Tent deliveries, hauling boxes of wine bottles and champagne out to the new tents in the pasture. Purchasing a croquet set.
A birthday! For Zan! Donuts and a surprise breakfast party in the dining room, decorated with streamers and twenty-seven pictures of his face. Then the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. The bride and groom both directors, and their parents, too, and their officiant. Standing in the discovery space at the Blackfriars to page the curtain for the flower girls, then the bride. The things kids say. "I could use a little help out here, Iris" in a six-year-old's voice. The beautiful, calming sound of a hammer dulcimer. A drive up a steep hill to a lovely mock-Tudor with tables set up outside and twinkle lights. More music, and singing, and dancing, and the bride and groom waltzing, and they look so happy, though she says her feet hurt from her spiky heels.
The wedding. Entering the theater early, somehow I have much more to do than I thought I would. An escape for my favorite chai vanilla latte, so smooth and sweet. Helping locate pieces of video equipment, or at least the videographers. Told to go down to the bride's dressing room, back up to the theater, where's the groom? There he is. Is it time? Is it time? The house is filling and I watch through the little window in the side doors and Sarah says, "It's exciting to watch everyone coming in, this must be how the actors feel." The flower girls located, the groom in place, he enters. The groomsmen and bridesmaids process to the stage. Then the bride appears, resplendent. A vision in white and sparkles and feathers, and it's the perfect dress and she looks perfect.
"Absolutely." "I do."
A dance party on stage. Then to the tents for more dancing. A game of croquet and a moon bounce. Toasts, amazing toasts! A roaring T-Rex toy that encapsulates the bride's goodness.
The groom speaks again, and his words are true and lovely, and as a lump forms in my throat he says, "So, my vows, this wedding-- today was just a
rehearsal..." and the five-year-old ring-bearer shouts, "I thought yesterday was the rehearsal!" and everyone laughs. Then food that brings tears of joy to my eyes, and catching up with old friends and new friends. Blowing bubbles and learning to contra dance.
The defining image: a rainbow. A promise.
(Zach and Lys with a Rainbow. Photo by Krystal, a bridesmaid)