I feel like trying something more profound today – I’m in a meditative mood, so enjoy the deeper side of me or … bear with me.
A year ago, a very dear friend of mine invited me to her house-warming party. She and her partner had bought their first house together and were celebrating a decision many young people are reluctant to take nowadays: living together, taking responsibilities, committing to something big and definitive, almost. They were really young and I thought it was a brave decision, as well as an achievement to be proud of.
Well, a year went by and here I was on Saturday, attending a hen afternoon tea party at their house. Yes, good guess: my dear Jess is now getting married. Clapping and cheering, hip hip hooray, what a great day! I was gutted though that the invitation to their wedding arrived after I had decided the dates of our road trip and booked all the hotels for this summer. It meant I couldn’t be there for the big day, see her (I am sure she’ll be a splendid bride) and be a part of their happiest day, so far. But this is life: surprising, fast, taking our breath away and often forcing us to miss out on wonderful events in the life of special people. My thoughts will run to her on that day and to her big, happy smile illuminating her pretty face, I’ll wonder whether her hair is down, romantically framing her shoulders, or up, in a posh chignon; I’ll imagine her in her gorgeous, white lace dress, next to the man she decided she wants to share her life with and I’ll wish her things I wished for myself a number of years (let’s not mention it) ago.
All of these events made me reflect on the meaning of marriage. What does marriage mean these days? Is it a bond of love and sometimes the love runs out, while other times it lasts for 75 years, like the couple that recently passed away, minutes one after the other, holding hands (and their love will carry on infinitely in a dimension we won’t witness)? Is it a commitment two people take and stick to or not? Is it a social convention – people move out of their parents’ houses to gain a bit of liberty, rent or buy their own place and try to make arrangements to suit both of them, their extended families, their neighbours and the community? What is marriage after all? Is it maybe the sum of all these and later in life these ingredients take different spaces and proportions that lead to either a strong family or a complete fiasco? Is it a journey whose destination is yet unknown but in which both partners contribute to the decision of which way is to be taken? I, for one, like this concept of marriage as a journey in two, and then in three or four, as the family expands, a journey in which you’re not alone, you have the other to rely on for those tricky bits of the road, you have the other to share the marvellous discoveries life offers, you have the other to make your “trip” enjoyable, bearable, happy, exciting, interesting, astounding, you have the other to share an embrace with, but most of all you have the other to share your dreams with and to love and receive love from. It’s sad that many “journeys” take couples to different places, the partners grow apart, they evolve in different ways and at a certain point they don’t have a common destination anymore. It’s the reality of life and, when that happens, is it simply fair for the two to make their own itinerary, to allow themselves and their partner to find a place and a different person to offer them the excitement and the happiness a journey is supposed to generate or should they stay on that bus, miserable and tired - tired of all the hardships the journey brought, unwilling to crush their shoulders any longer, under the burden of all the shitty bits life put in their rucksack, without warning them when they said that convinced and a bit naive “I do!” early in their life?
All these consideration made, weddings have always been the most exciting event in people’s life and will continue to remain so. We all cheer and clap, we all hope for wonderful things for the couple, we all wish for the best in their relation – we wish their journey to be the longest and most gratifying “road trip” it can be.
In my country, they wish recently established couples “A house of stone”, as if to wish their marriage to be as durable as a stone made house. I don’t particularly like that wish… I like to wish my friends “A house of dreams and love”, because there is nothing more binding for people than dreams and love – a house of light, of hope, of those wonderful, sublime things that live in our hearts and no one can take from us, indissoluble bonds that we create with our minds and souls. When we dream together, we love stronger, we want the other’s dream to come true because it’s our dream too. And no house made of stone can keep together two people who stopped dreaming together and building their love. Don’t put stone on stone, put dream on dream and make your bond last, build a house in your hearts and live in it, because it’s there that you’ll find the warmth, the comfort and the love.
Wishing you a long and happy journey together, my dears!
The pictures, shot in a hurry while getting dressed and doing the final touches to the small gifts I prepared, are taken by myself this time. Anita was enjoying a carefree, serene afternoon with her friends and she doesn’t want to know about all of these mushy-mawkish, sugary things we grown-ups bother our heads with. Hey-ho… Life’s just beautiful when you’re 15! And “commitment” is such a big word (even when it comes to blogging)!
Permission granted, my outfit for the garden party in a future post, maybe. So, visit again.