Last night, I looked through our wedding album with my brother and was immediately brought back to the holiness of these moments. In honor of love-weekend, I lit the same candle we lit for the wedding welcome dinner, and sat down to reflect on our October ceremony.
The air, on this perfect October Saturday, was a warm hug. Our guest list was short but, on this warmest autumn day, we felt a love song in the wind; the blessings from the universe. Before the ceremony began, we signed the ketubah; an ancient ritual of commandment and commitment. Surrounded by witnesses and signed as a constant reminder of our promises to each other (four goats, three candlesticks, a roof for a fiddler). We were lucky enough to share this honor with two of our closest friends, whose ketubah we had signed two months prior. Love on love on love. Our four signatures now, hanging on our wall—preserved as a weddingscape: watercolor flowers, a bride and groom under a canopy, everything that has already been (and everything that was to come).
Our ceremony consisted of a Havdalah service. The lighting of the candles, the smelling of the spice, the tasting of the wine. A sense memory. I put together little besamim bundles for the ceremony: cinnamon, orange, clove. A dried rose. A sprig of lavender. A little charm with the word LOVE etched across its silver body. This ritual marks the transition from the end of the seventh day—the Sabbath—to the start of the new week. A time for transitions; a new week, new day, new chapter.
The havdalah candle—two of two wicks intertwined—like our lives, our families, our dreams, forever intertwined as man and wife. We had our mothers come up to the chuppah to light them and walk them through the aisle. To bring the light shining through for all.
And in these pictures, we saw that the wind turned the chuppah heart-shaped; that we are all held up by the people who love us- my mother who walked me down the aisles to my awaiting husband, my brother, who learned Hebrew to officiate his sister’s wedding, my sisters who danced in the grass (in heels).
This did not feel like the kind of year where happiness happens. And, in truth, our moments of joy were permeated by deep moments of sadness. In some ways, we may be forever recovering from many of the actions of 2020. The bad changed us but the good made us whole again. And, maybe, that's the point of all this. How lucky we are to have moments of joy, in spite of. And to focus on those moments, even when it would be easier to sit in the bad. It's why I may open our wedding album
A sniff of the candle, a new set of flowers to dry (an early Valentine's Day gift from my husband) and the joy of that word, that partnership, dancing on the tip of my tongue.