bright tympani

Rain didn't fall in Eugene for several months, until right after James and Kimi's outdoor wedding reception. My nail-biting beforehand wasn't necessary -- there were three or four hours between the party's end and the first lightning flash.


Their wedding Friday morning charmed everyone. Both of the day's events were truly DIY, with nobody hired to cater or direct. The photographer, whose work will be available in a couple weeks, is a talented young friend building her portfolio.

 My shoulders feel lighter. I lived so long thinking, "What's next to do before the wedding..." that even on Saturday, roaming the mall with Tim and Victoria after a movie, my mind kept going there. "What next...oh, yeah, it's done!"

Some people really love planning events and making them happen. I think one reason I wasn't sure I'd ever have children  was my reluctance to carry out social obligations. Tim and I are nerdy, and so are our dear kids (each of whom I'm quite glad came along), and so are our friends. If not nerdy, they're different in ways that don't fit well with party planning.

And, especially now, we're not people with money. Yet we aren't so far removed from social conventions that we don't worry about having enough food (when the reception is only vaguely planned as a potluck) and about table arrangements and drinks (although we didn't worry enough there: the lemonade ran out).

But with a bride who's nearing completion of her baking degree, we knew the cake at least would turn out right. It was even gluten-free, tasting as good as it looked.

I guess weddings most always just somehow come together. There is joy and tension, lilting steps amid work. There are kind surprises, in the gift of family and friends helping. We were greatly blessed in this area. People who know how to think under pressure arrived and started setting up early. Some even stayed long after the bride and groom's bubble-blown exit, and so we were able to take most everything down before it poured.

I'm left this week afterward pondering marriage. Someone spoke to me Friday about their ambivalence toward the whole deal, the fuss, the to-do. I think this person was saying they didn't think James and Kimi needed to formalize their obviously caring relationship.

I responded, "But it's a blessing."

The support of others comes from true caring, expansive in beauty as the sky. When something as enduring on the planet as marriage sprouts to make a new beginning, the heavens can't help but gather their giving forces, displaying the rain of love, the bright tympani of affection. Though afterward this flow might seem to dry up for long stretches, mundane and difficult, its sudden abundance won't soon be forgotten.

The first flash at 2:00 a.m. Saturday delighted me. Thunder shook the neighborhood like laughter; then there overflowed the symphony of rain.


Kalitsu said…
"... the bright tympani of affection..." I like that! Congratulations to the happy couple, and you and Tim! You have set a good example of a long-lasting, durable love for your children to model.
Fresca said…
This made me teary---the whole thing!

I've been darning socks lately (new to me), and that's what popped into my head reading what you said about marriage:
in this throw-away society, marriage seems to me like an acknowledgement that socks WILL get holes, of course they will,
but the couple is making a commitment to darn the socks instead of throwing them away.

That cake... Wow!
I recently went to another wonderful DIY wedding, for which I made 100 cupcakes. I felt more included in the wedding than if I'd just brought a present.
I've heard that called the IKEA affect:
people are more attached to their furniture if they had a hand in making it (even if that's just assembling it out of a box) (though I assure you, my cupcakes were not from a box mix).

Anyway---I know the sweet relief you talk of when a complicated event has passed.
CONGRATULATIONS to you and your family on launching a blessed new enterprise.

["Enterprise". Ha. I just had to get a Star Trek reference in there, didn't I? But I couldn't say "a blessed new Falcon"... :) ]
deanna said…
Kalitsu, thank you for the good wishes. It's fun, and amazing, to see these weddings happen, and we pray they will endure.

Fresca, it's pretty awesome you darn your socks. You and Tim have that in common -- he's done it all the years I've known him. I'm the more throw-away type person naturally, but I have come to wash and reuse ziplock bags. Anyway, I love your connection between socks and marriage.

I thought about you making those cupcakes, and what a great gift that was for your friend. One of Kimi's friends made beautiful wedding favors: seeds to plant later and enjoy, all tied up in netting and ribbon.
Fresca said…
Wow, please tell Tim I am impressed!
(I just only learned how to darn last month.)

What a great gift: seeds to plant later. Very fitting.

Speaking of plants, I love the botanical green of James's shirt.
Beth said…
James and Kimi are adorable. And that cake -- wow! My crew (gluten-free to the max) would faint dead away if they saw it.

Lovely photos, Deanna. They sound like bookends.