Monday, July 03, 2006

A Sussex summer wedding


A path cut through a field of long grass lit by white balloons and leading to an Indian wedding tent. Seated on hay-bales a few friends and family await the arrival on horseback of the bride and groom. Somewhere below, under a big oak tree, a cello plays a Bach Allemande as they dismount and walk under an arch of white carnations to the place from where the music calls them and where ceremony will begin.

“I endeavour to cut out the clutter both inner and outer that might stop me from loving you at any moment….” The groom is making his vows.

“And now the bride will make her vows to the groom”

A Sarabande starts up. The bride does not speak but takes her silk train dappled in sunlight and covers herself. She is a dancer, she is not English and this is her language. She begins to move in front of him, slowly opening her heart towards, and revealing her self to him through dance. On the repeat, a wind whips up from nowhere, and she and I go with it. The Warbleton brass band and the miked announcements about the raffle for the village fête being held in the next field seem to disappear. The wind dies down and we close in stillness, her hands outstretched towards her beloved. Tears of recognition stream down the groom’s face.

“I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride”

They have been kissing since she finished making her vows.

“Why?” asks a child.

Handmade chocolates perfumed with orange and rosewater, elderflower champagne, a chance to step out of our daily routine and, by witnessing theirs, to remember our love.



Anonymous maggie mclean said...


i am so touched by the words the groom uttered to his beloved. I cannot release them from my mind, and because of that i know they go very deep. After 27 years of marriage, i see the deep wisdom in those words, and will carry them now, both in my heart and actions. As Paul Reps, zen wanderer and mystic, said: thank you for your life.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Dale said...


9:09 PM  
Blogger Lin said...

Beautiful and I'm going to send the groom's vow to my son who just this morning called to ask a solution to the clutter that his S.O. has brought to their tiny NY flat. I had some practical ideas for him, but the beauty, simplicity and truth of the groom's words also spoke to me. Clutter, whether physical or cerebral, so often gets in the way of what's important.

Thanks for putting it all together so readably, Ruth.

10:37 PM  
Blogger zhoen said...

He spoke the vows, she moved them.


7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Dearest Ruth
What beautiful way of simply bringing our seremony into a poetic story.I can feel it in my bones and the rememberance will be inprinted there. Thank you so much for bringing in your amazing gifts through the soul of you and your cello. I love you,
Sophia, the bride.

12:02 PM  

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