1/27/2008

wedded to amazement


Yesterday I saw my first whale. I've been watching for one since December, because I've heard they come in close to the shore to give birth this time of year. So for weeks I've been standing out on the lanai, scanning the ocean, waiting.

So yesterday I stepped out on the lanai, and saw a small fountain mid-sea. Because I'd just been to the volcano yesterday, I was a little confused about how to read this and I thought to myself, "How strange--a mid-sea steam vent!" Slowly it dawned on me that it was actually a whale. "Amber, Charles," I said, "Get out here!"

Together, we watched the whale spurt and swim. It was remarkable to finally spot a whale, more remarkable to see it first with Amber and Charles, just a few hours after they'd been wed at the mission here in Kona.

There is so much to say about the experience of wedding Amber and Charles, the inexpressible joy of seeing one of the people I love most in this world enter into a fresh season. I could not resist the happy temptation of telling her at least a few times over the course of the last few days, "I told you so," meaning, I knew all along that she was going to find her way into the life she dreamed of, that her courage and honesty and searching love would not fail her.

And there was something so beautiful about coming to know Charles more deeply. We'd only met him once before, but over the past few days, he became family. This wedding was marked by so many casual graces, such a sense of spontaneity and joy. Amber and Charles didn't sweat any of the small things, they didn't plan much, they stayed focused on what was real--beginning their new life together.

When they arrived, Charles pulled a creased piece of paper out of his pocket. He said, "I was thinking perhaps we could go out for a nice meal after the wedding. Here are a few restaurants that could work."

Keep in mind, this was Wednesday, and they were to be married in four days. I took them directly from the airport to check out a few churches and they selected ours on the spot. I took them up to a cafe in Holualoa, an artsy little mountain town, and they checked out the outdoor tables and menu, "Yes," they said, "This is perfect."

On the eve of their wedding, after we'd visited the sea turtles at the black sand beach, hiked a lava tube and relaxed by the fire at Volcano house, we came home tired.

We snacked on the spiky, lovable fruit rambuton, and pulled lime soaked breadfruit from it's humble green shell and Charles suggested I read Anna's story to everyone. So I read a chapter from a Wind in the Door. Charles was on his laptop on the sofa and Amber fell asleep leaning on his shoulder, and Anna fell asleep leaning on Amber.

And for me, it was just about perfect, all of it. What joy it was to witness the God of hope at work in two lives coming together after many years of struggle. I think of a quote from Mary Oliver, and I think of Amber and Charles and how they perfected the art of the aloha wedding. I, too must stay focused on what is real, to not fritter my life away on details.

When it's over, I want to say: All my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

2 comments:

Katya said...

Jenny, thank you so much for this post. I could always tell by the way Amber talked about Charles that he was the right one for her, but I could never quite picture them together, and now I can.

Julia said...

Reading this (especially after seeing the gorgeous pictures of Amber and Charles in their crowns) I can only think of the e.e. cummings lines:

i thank you God for most this amazing / day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees / and a blue dream of sky; and for everything / which is natural which is infinite which is yes

Thanks for writing about it for those of us far away.