I was privileged to attend a beautiful wedding in the weekend, proof sure enough that love still blossoms and people are brave enough to say vows (altogether different to promises) and stand up in front of friends and family to make that commitment to one another. Especially privileged was I, when Paula and Mark asked if I would write a poem to be read at the wedding. Which it turns out, is a beautiful opportunity to put down in words some of what I’ve been reflecting on; the goodness of marriage and the process it is.
More and more, I think that marriage isn’t about finding someone who ticks the boxes, with whom your life fits and feels complete – but choosing someone who you can build a life with. So the image of a garden seems appropriate – we don’t marry because we’ve discovered something beautiful, but because we want to create something beautiful. So this is the poem that I wrote and read for my darling friends.
Today, my love – I am giving you a meadow.
A meadow is a wonderful place to begin something new.
We have seen this full run of seasons;
summer, autumn, winter and spring
passed over in each other’s eyes, held hand in hand
I know what seasons look like on your face
I am comforted, I am hopeful, I am sure.
So now in this summer, I give you a meadow
full of wildflower, full of promise
so we may begin in earnest.
Let me tell you – how I want to build you a garden here,
A corner devoted to each season –
There daffodils in spring, here falling leaves for autumn
From an oak tree that bends but cannot break in winter storms.
And every year, roses in summer
Blooming over and over, recounting the fragrance
by which I loved you first, and love you now.
I long to see the trees grow older and take their shape
Against the prevailing wind provide some shelter
For each sacred herb and flower, that may feed us
And to sit at the end of day beside you, always beside you.
Let us be entwined together, anchored securely in this earth
Never one removed from the other,
each bringing life to the other.
Today I am giving you a meadow,
Tomorrow I am making you a garden.