A blessing to share words with those gathered on a beautiful late summer evening, September 1, 2019 for the wedding of my nephew Christopher and his bride Samantha.
When we think of all the firsts in life – maybe something challenging, something scary, something adventurous – always mixed in is a blend of emotion that renders us both exhilarated and overwhelmed at the same time. You’ve both experienced many firsts. We all have.
First days of school, first days of driving, first dates, first jobs. Worry and trepidation always seep in before any first. Just a little past that first minute, first day, remember – we’ve committed to a new journey. We’ve said yes to a blessing that’s been given to us. And we must always tip our hats to the Universe in gratitude for bringing that gift forth, whatever it is. Whenever it is. In timing that is meant to be. Timing that is not manufactured or forced.
Here another first day. First day of marriage. How is it that we get from this part of the journey, the wedding day – to the next parts, beyond this day?
With this first there are many unknowns. There are plans and wishes. There are, with every blessing, more calm seas, than stormy ones. Moving forward will require a digging deep to re-calibrate and find balance. To move forward in any day requires grit and persistence. Requires a steady belief that blending two lives on a wedding day is a gift never to be taken lightly or for granted.
May you trust that two will always be stronger than one. Two words, among all others, strengthen the early marriage roots to become viable, deep lifelines for loyal, peaceful and happy years ahead. Flexibility and Forgiveness. Both will propel you forward – day after day, year after year.
May the ebb and flow of time and how it is parsed out, given and taken, be well-orchestrated. Time for us, time for me, time for you. In giving to the other, may you find joy. And may you find ways to rejuvenate yourself so you have even more to give. This is quite a delicate balance, a unique dance and one that must be constantly fine-tuned and remain at the forefront of your hearts and in your minds.
At the beginning of your journey today, we – your family and friends – provide you with light and love. We hold our lanterns towards you so that your journey will be well lit and you can clearly see the path ahead. Even the parts that are unknown. Dim. Uncertain.
A word I heard for the first time in December of 2017, at the memorial mass of Yaya, has stayed with me ever since. The Greek word elpida – not only is it a beautiful word, but the meaning of it is what struck me the most. Without elpida we are unable to move forward with someone or to think of the days ahead. Without elpida we are unable to feel peace and balance in our lives. Elpida is hope.
The flame in our lanterns for you today is just that – of hope. We move it towards you, we shed it on you and even when you move from this day and begin your new lives together – think of this family and these friends. Of our lanterns. Of elpida.
And we mustn’t forget those who hold lanterns from just beyond the thin veil. They are always with us. And in silence we can hear their words of wisdom, we can feel a soft hand on our shoulder. Know their lanterns, too, will guide your union, on this first day, towards all the years to come.
Blessings always Chris and Sam~