The Best Seat on the Canal

By April 27, 2009 culture No Comments

This past weekend, I attended my brother-in-law’s wedding—a lovely day in all regards! Weddings tend to pull on all the idealistic strings within me. They also remind me of the power and beauty of love.

Promises are the core of love’s power, so that’s why my favorite part of a wedding ceremony is the exchange of vows. Here the words of love are given as a stake in the ground, declaring the land to be sacred, claimed for this couple alone.

img_3445As my brother-in-law read his vows to his beloved, I was glad to be close enough to hear his voice. But my seat was just far enough from the center aisle that I could only see his side profile, not his face. I wished I could see his eyes, to see his expression as he pledged his love and as the bride pledged hers to him.

Mentally, then, I got distracted, wondering why the bride and groom did not flip-flop places so that both guest sections got a better view of the one known best to each of us.

As I pondered the tradition of seating the guests according to bride or groom, I realized I was wasting the moment with my little mental digression, so I tuned back in to the ceremony . . . and I noticed that beyond my brother-in-law’s profile was the bride in all her glory.

She was radiant, being covered in the vows of love and commitment of her groom.

img_5479-2Tradition must have it right. The groom’s guests and family are positioned to see what fills the groom’s eyes: his beloved, his new bride.

So I did not get to watch my brother-in-law’s face as he shared his promises. But I saw the reflection of him in the face of my sister-in-law. Her expression showed me what I truly wanted to see: the evidence of love given and received.

I’m so grateful I got to see that.

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