Cha-cha-changes: 3

Here’s a promise: If your wedding ceremony is done right (and maybe even if it isn’t) it will galvanize the community to connect to one another. In the 20 some years that I’ve been doing this, it never fails to awe me. When I ask: “will you support this couple?”, it’s hard not to be knocked off my feet by the ensuing wave of enthusiasm. It keeps me doing the work.

I have always believed in ritual. For the last 20 years now I watch first hand, sometimes as many as 50 times a year, as the connection between the couple deepens. I was speaking to a friend last night, and she said, “you know, it’s as if all the little hairs on the back of your neck, that you never knew were standing up, just lie down.” Life is just more settled with a firm commitment between you. As I said in the last post, Steve and I experienced this.

What was unexpected was the solidifying of the family unit. I always have a family piece in my weddings. I don’t believe anyone leaves their families any more, at least in our culture. Rather each partner joins the other’s family and a clan is mushed together from the two tribes. Additionally, if there are children from previous marriages, I encourage the couples to acknowledge, celebrate and support their partner’s commitments to those children. I ask the children to accept the new relationship. Rituals need to celebrate what’s true.

In our case, Steve had two kids — young, beautiful women in their 30s. They’re both partnered, although one relationship is foundering a bit. Both of these couples have a babe apiece. We both have sibs with partners and, of course, we included them. I have aging parents. Steve visits my parents weekly and reads and drums with them. In addition I have a godchild who, when her mom died, became far more clearly my daughter. And her dad gets tucked haphazardly into my family along with a couple of other stray friends I’ve picked up along my journey.

The stunning thing to me about the wedding was how seriously we take those promises. I mean we always did. But now there’s a bond that wasn’t there before. I was just in California. I saw both daughters. Of course I saw both daughters. Steve was headed off to another part of California to play and needed to go and say goodbye to Betty and Sam before he left. We both count on each other’s siblings in new ways. His people are my people and my people are his people. Ruth was right.

Unlike many people, I’ve loved being single. There are many people who would swear that I still am since we have decided not to live together (yes, I’ll talk more about that in some later post!) But this wedding not only made me a married woman, it made me a familied one!

It can happen to you too! Your love deserves nothing less!

Believing in you and your love,
Ann

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