I attended two weddings yesterday.
They could not have been more different. One was a second marriage – the other a first. One was a marriage between two older people – the other between two young people. One was attended by a few close family members and friends – the other was attended by many, many young friends and family.
Oddly enough, they could not have been more the same. Primarily because it was a day when two people publicly declared their love for one another in the midst of a community of people who loved and supported them. Such joy. Such hope. Such promise.
Did both couples find their “soul mates”? What is a soul mate? Is that a term that can actually exist? I think so. I believe so. I know so. After-all, if people did not believe they have found their soul-mate, why would they ever get married at all? One has to believe in the power of ever lasting love. And, at first, new love is all that. It is ever-lasting. It is all powerful. It is friendship, compassion, and loyalty. It is the holy trinity of what makes us human and causes us to fall in love.
Things happen, though, as time moves on. Obviously, there are those who fall out of love – who decide they are no longer soul-mates. That doesn’t mean, however, that they were not soul-mates to begin. Perhaps it is important to recognize that time changes everything and that everyday we wake up and need to re-define who we are. Every day we wake up a different person with different opportunities. For the most part, we choose who we want to be for the day, the hour, the moment? I don’t know.
Optimism. Rose-coloured glasses. All good. Why not? When I taught, I had to believe that I was making a difference in the lives of my students. I had to. Otherwise, why would I continue teaching? When Kevin and I were married, I had to believe in ever-lasting love – otherwise why would we have been married in the first place? While I go through cancer treatments, I have to believe in a cure – otherwise why would I continue?
But there is a difference between being optimistic and being unrealistic. An optimist can also be pragmatic. The sky can be dark with a potential to clear, but it is just wise to carry an umbrella. It is possible to see the good – and recognize there is also bad. I think. And to not prepare or see it is irresponsible. Everyday, though, there are clouds in the sky. I like to see the beauty in them. The older I get, it seems, the easier it becomes. I can even see the beauty in a storm. I look at clouds for what they are – magnificent marvels of nature. I don’t look to see the destruction that clouds could cause, although, I have insurance.
Weddings. They are hopeful. They are full of promises, bright new beginnings – no matter what age. It is good to not be alone. It is not always easy to live with someone under the same roof – there can be so many differences. There is compromise, there is sacrifice, there is miscommunication. But there is also love, security, shared experiences – and hopefully history.
Yesterday’s weddings filled me with a renewed sense of hope for my friends. I lived the joy through them. Joy. The feeling you get when your heart can sing for someone else’s happiness.
I was honoured to have been able to witness the union of two couples yesterday. Today, the party is over. There is much work to be done. The souls that united must now “mate”. There must be a balance of optimism and pragmatism. There must be a determined measure to look for the good in each other, to support each other, to give each other freedom and independence. The balance is tough. There must be time allotted to give “it” a shot.
One wedding united a couple who have already supported their children to grow; the other wedding has yet to experience the joy of having children. One wedding united a couple who come to each other with much history and cultural diversity; the other couple is young and has yet to write a history. Magnificent how that can happen in one day.
I was testimony to the beginning of new lives, yesterday. I was invited to share in the joy, the celebrations, the food and dance.
I am… and will remain.. a firm believer of soul-mates, optimism, and hope.