I attended a friend’s wedding last weekend. She’s an old friend, so there were others there too, all of whom I have known for nearly 30 years. Some of my closest friends were present and I was naturally delighted to see them, but I was also struck by how appreciative I was of people I had not seen for a decade or more. There is an obvious maturity about our connections, and to spend such quality time in the company of people who have grown together and aged well, but who in many ways have not changed at all, somehow served as recognition of my own self.
I danced and chatted, laughed and loved. I felt the shine of my own light in the presence of others who also shone. One friend even told me I had finally become the person they had always seen in me. In that space, surrounded by affirmations of friendship, I was able to stand back and appreciate my place in life.
Five days later the wedding video appeared; a six-minute compilation of love and appreciation. Beautifully edited and wonderfully evocative, it recreated everything that was magical about the whole day. The bride never misses an opportunity to sprinkle her magic on her world, and the entire video does just that, offering the people who were present the chance to appreciate again and again what had been a very special day.
But that privilege is not confined to those who attended the wedding. I showed the video to my girlfriend who had missed the occasion to stay home with our newborn son. It made her cry. Her comment at the end, as she tightened her arms around our son and the last of her tears faded from her cheek, came effortlessly: ‘There’s so much love in the world!’
That’s what weddings do. They remind us of the depth of love which is everywhere at all times. Life will always offer us pain and struggles and difficulties; and in my conversations with my friends I heard their own variations; but I also saw perseverance and discipline and togetherness – qualities we all have and which allow us to keep clearing enough space for the permanence of love to shine through. We are awesome creatures, capable of so much, and love lies at the core of it all. Long may we live, deep may we love, and every now and again, may we also come together to celebrate our beauty.