One year

October 1, 2012 § 28 Comments

There are some important bits and pieces of news to be shared around here, friends.  First, I got bangs.  Whoa.  It’s been several days, but I still do a double take every time I see myself.  And I’m still trying to decide whether it is a good or bad double take.  Time will tell.  (Time will also grow my hair back out, so maybe it won’t tell.  I may be doomed to eternal ambiguity.  Yipes.)

I also saw the preview for the newest season of Downton Abbey.  Oh dear.  Now I won’t be able to sleep until I can watch the full season…and then once it’s on I won’t be able to sleep because I’ll be fretting too much about every one in the show!  Well, mostly I’m just over-invested in Lady Mary’s happiness.  She’s just awesome.  Though not quite as awesome as the Dowager Countess. But that goes without saying.

Oh, it’s also our one year wedding anniversary.  Woo!  Because we decided to go ahead and elope before our wedding, we’ve technically been married for two years and one month.  A month ago we were up in the Northwoods reuning with old friends and we mentioned that it was our anniversary.  “No,” they declared, “your anniversary is in October!”  And you know what, they were the ones who were right.

A marriage and a wedding are about two people, a couple, but they are also about more.  A wedding and a marriage are about love, hope, commitment, about a special occasion but also the day-to-day.  They are about the friends and family, the community, that is there witnessing and supporting the couple who weds.  We knew that then and still focus on that now.  We knew that well enough to be planning a wedding with our community, even as we decided to elope. 

Our wedding was more wonderful and amazing than I even could have imagined.  It was so amazing, I could barely find a single word to talk about it right after it happened last year, so I thought I’d say a little more now.

The setting, the decorations, the music (I even got to walk down the aisle following one of my best friends who was playing my favorite piece of music on the Hardanger fiddle), the food, it was all even more perfect than perfect.  The people we worked with in planning the wedding seemed to have the ability to go into my brain, take out the images that were driving my incoherent babbling – about old books, and birch trees, and Norwegian traditions, and speeches delivered in song – and turn them into a dream scape.

But what truly made it perfect was the people.  To wed my true love surrounded by the beaming faces of my community – my other true love – I don’t know how I got to be so lucky.

We talk about how miraculous love is at weddings, but I think we rarely think of weddings as an opportunity to really reflect on what that miracle is.  The crazy thing about love is how impossible it is, in a way.  I saw so starkly on our wedding day how imperfect I am, in spite of my best attempts; how many times I have failed people I love, even if only in tiny ways.  I saw how little I deserved to be loved.  And, in the faces of my husband and the others there, I saw how deserving has absolutely nothing to do with it.

That’s grace.  And it takes letting go of all your pride to truly accept it.

For me, that is what our wedding was about, what our marriage is about.  Giving love without it needing to be earned, and receiving love without feeling the need to earn it.  It’s not an easy thing to do.  It’s something for special occasions and something for the day to day.  It takes practice, and I feel so lucky to be having the opportunity to practice.

So, happy one year anniversary to us!  I’ll be back soon with a recipe to share, but Joel is doing the cooking tonight!  (We’re having this).

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