Troll through this blog’s archives, and you’ll discover near-innumerable treatises on the emotive intertwinings of family, romance, love, life, and wine.
Wine is our liquid of ritual. It is there when we’re born, it will be there when we die; it will be there when we celebrate the anniversaries of each. It is there at anniversaries, there at rare reunions. It is there at celebrations of the new, and it is there at soft remembrance of the passed. When your heart is truly there, when your heart is most alive, then the wine is there as well. It is the second blood your veins were born to move.
There is no event more enacting of this ritualized emotiono-oeno inter-relationship than a marriage.
For a child, first participation in a wedding is a transcendental magic. I know this. My daughter was a barefooted and lei’d flower girl in a Hawaii wedding just a few months ago; I will never forget this kind of beauty. And with a drop of so-fine red in her thimbleful of water, she was, perfectly, the perfect host to toast.
And for a grandparent, this magic is strangely, perfectly the same. There are no schedules, no responsibilities; no diplomacy is required, attendance alone is its own greatest contribution. There is nothing like the smile of a grandparent at a wedding; if the Bodhi Tree had a face, it would have smiled upon the Buddha like a Grandma at a wedding. And then it would have raised a glass of wine, cradled in the wisdom of its branches, splashing in the grasses of its nourishment.
And for a bride or a groom, of course, a marriage is the peak moment to end all peak moments; this is the cumulative matriculation for the student of the heart, the rite of deepest passage.
When my wife said yes, the journey of my strange and lonesome heart came to an end. I had made it. I was safe. I was alive.
And then there are the parents. Galaxies in the farthest reaches of coldest outer space could come to life again under the light of a parent’s smile whose child is at the altar.
So what a blessing to see these very same life-affirming smiles, these galaxy-birthing smiles, on the faces of Paul and Maureen Draper, on the day of their daughter Caitlin’s marriage.
And yes, of course she was married on the mountain.
Bless you Paul, bless you Maureen.
And bless you Caitlin. And bless your loving husband.
May the magic of the mountain and the vision of the vines be deeply twined with all the glories of your starlit hearts in orbit.