I'm an optimist. I'm a romantic. I'm a dreamer. I hope.
Wills and Kate were married Friday morning and I watched the entire ceremony. She was beautiful, her dress was perfect, he was smitten and sweet. It was a a fairytale come to life. Of course, it's real life for the two of them actually taking the vows...
Dr. Richard Chartres, Lord Bishop of London spoke at the wedding. (I considered copying and pasting his entire wedding sermon because I thought it was so lovely, but that would make for a rather long post and perhaps cause a minor revolt...so I will provide a link for those who are interested. (It's only one and a half pages in a word document if you're worried about the length.))
He opened with this: "Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire. So said Saint Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be. Their deepest and their truest selves."
Marriage is hard in real life. Even when the commitment is true, the love is real and the ups and downs are rolling hills rather than cliffs and canyons. What must it be like having to navigate all of that with the addition of the scrutiny, pressure, expectations of millions of people and hundreds of years of history? Daunting.
It's easy to get caught up in the royalty of their union, the elegance, the stately history...the money spent on one day of celebration... But still, in the end it's two people in love pledging to join their lives, just like every other wedding and every other couple in love. A long thread of vows, some kept and some broken, but all full of shared hope and love through the ages.
Somehow, in the midst of the day to day humdrum of life that marriage gets wrapped up in I got lucky enough to find a better me. My vows didn't sentence me to a life with a ball and chain or claustrophobic box; marriage has provided me space to figure out who I really am. Like Dr. Chartres said, marriage has created a space for me to explore and grow, regress and cocoon, and be free to experience the growing pains along with the elation of discovery. I've earned respect and been given acceptance. Hopefully I've created the same for him. Together, we're chipping away at ourselves and each other to find our "truest and deepest selves".
So, congratulations and good luck to Wills and Kate. May your wedding be the start of a wonderfully transforming marriage. It was fun to celebrate for you!