Both Private & Public

On Sunday, 10/10/10 I had the honor of officiating the wedding of my nephew and his partner – in the Botanical Gardens overlooking Sydney Harbor, in Australia.

There had been rain and blustery winds in the days prior, prompting quite a bit of concern regarding a “Plan B” for the location. But that morning the sun came out in all its glory, as did the couple’s family and friends (from all over the world). As anticipated, ninety festively attired guests gathered on the lush lawn to bear witness to and support the loving union of these men.

Joining them, one-by-one and somewhat less festively attired, where the passersby – those out for a Sunday morning stroll or jog, who stopped in surprise when they noticed “no bride”.  By the time vows and rings and embraces had been exchanged, the number of witnesses had almost doubled.  As had the the palpable presence of awe and wonder and celebration.

That morning two lives and families joined together.  And that is surely gift enough!

And yet, it was the still presence of those strangers, straining to hear every word spoken and to take in every detail of that unexpected scene, which bears such poignancy for me.

I know that Jason and Robie will live good, meaningful, loving lives. But it is the presence of those “others” I find myself remembering and celebrating; those slowing growing smiles and cheers; that look of finally understanding the breadth of love.




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