Tonight was different.
I had been anxious about this wedding for weeks — more so after the rehearsal — which was held the weekend before. You see, this wedding was the uniting of two people who had been together for over eight years, and who came from very different spiritual sources — Roman Catholic groom and Native American bride. So I needed to create a ceremony that would honor both their backgrounds.
I’ve never been RC, but I have been Anglican — that’s what I was raised in Canada. Native American rituals came later, first at Jean Houston’s mystery school and later, through studying the medicine wheel, particularly the wheel of law, with Robin Van Doren in Ojai, CA.
So this morning, I packed the car very carefully. The basket and abalone shell were there, the last of the sage I found in Ojai many years ago, my magical dark pink embroidered East Indian cloth and for some reason, two thick washcloths, one dark green and the other dark blue. These leapt into my hand when I reached into the linen closet this morning, I had never carried them with me before today.
Upon arriving at the location more than an hour early, I went right to the outdoor site and lit the sage. It flamed up immediately, then settled into voluminous smoke, very little flame. I walked around the entire area where the guests would be sitting, then up and down the aisle — and ended at the front table, wondering then how to quiet the smoke in order to take it back to the lodge and smudge the bridal party.
It suddenly became clear why the thick cloths had invited themselves. The blue one stayed beneath the abalone shell, protecting the pink cloth and basket from the heat of the flames. And the dark green one covered the mouth of the shell, stilling the smoke until we got back to the Lodge. It was ready to go without even needing to be relit. Marvelous.
We called in the directions, and blessed this couple. The ceremony was rich with traditions and feelings, an eclectic group of guests who brought their own powerful energies to witness this union.
The clouds were thickening, and as the couple said their vows to one another, several geese flew overhead, adding their honked blessings. I referred to this gently, saying: “What a blessing it is from these geese, who themselves mate for life.”
It was a magical time, and a privilege to participate — the rain only started to fall after we had made our way back to the reception place. I thank you and I bless you, Laura and Jimmy! Congratulations.