A Breath, and Then A Step Forward

May 20th, 2010


Dear readers,

This is it…two days from now I'll be walking down the aisle, and I'll officially become Mrs. Pastrygirl. Or I suppose you can call my fiance Mr. Pastrygirl from now on!

I'll be away from Dessert First for the next couple of weeks – we're not going on honeymoon just yet, but we will be taking some time off to, well, just be married! If you send me any e-mails, I hope you'll bear with me until I come back!

When I was looking through readings we might want to use for our ceremony, I came across this piece by Robert Fulghum. We ended up not choosing it, but it resonated with me all the same:

"You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife."

Surely, as one of the most popular subjects of the written word, marriage has received more than its fair share of paeans, acclamations, and criticism as well. I felt a little silly composing this post, well aware that I am not the first person in the universe to fall in love and get married! But, as they say, reading and knowing is different from the actual experience. As the week of preparations winds down, imbued with an ever-fluctuating stream of happiness, nostalgia, anticipation, joy, and melancholy, I find myself thinking not just of my own wedding, but of all the other unions that have happened before, and will happen in the future. When I get married on Sunday, I'll be partaking in a shared human experience. It's hard to explain but it makes me feel small yet exultant at the same time, like walking into a church with the light falling just so through stained-glass windows, or watching fireworks unfurl in a deep cobalt sky, or being part of a joyous crowd at a concert. You know you are participating in something bigger than you, adding your own thread to the tapestry of human emotion.

An already-married friend told me, "When you turn around after getting married to walk out, wait for a few moments and take a look to remember everyone who came to share in this with you. Everyone looks so happy for you…it's the most wonderful thing." The same happiness that has resonated at every wedding in history, that universe-affirming joy – the moments that remind us why we're all here on earth.

It's my turn. I can't wait, and I thank you all for sharing in this with me.

I'll see you on the other side.


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