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A California Wedding…

The wedding this evening, between the young Marine and his bride, was different in several ways from any wedding that I have attended as a guest, or as a member of “the band” (something else from my sordid past that I have not told you). It must be like a lot of weddings across America are these days, but in some ways, the wedding was definitely Californian.

Perhaps the most Californian thing about the wedding was the venue, the Garré Winery in Livermore. The wedding was outdoors, in October, and the reception was in a large white tent similar to tents in which I have attended company meetings in Silicon Valley.

The pastor thanked the servicemen present for their role in combatting global terrorism. There were four uniformed Marines present (counting the groom) in their “dress blues” and one uniformed member of the U.S. Coast Guard. The recessional for the wedding ceremony itself was the Marine’s Hymn, which contrasted nicely with the entrance of the wedding party into the tent to AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.”

Other than the venue, the wedding could have taken place in a number of places in America. It struck me that the several generations of people present have all heard the same music. It struck me that in times of war and in a less-than-optimal economy, people gathered to celebrate another ritual in the “real lives” of their fellow humans. Never mind layoffs, a lethargic economy, the return to Iraq that all of the Marines present will face in 2008, and all of the maladies that affect human beings – here was a tent full of people dancing and singing along, an abundance of wine, beer, and champagne, food, music, companionship, talk, reconciliations and peacemaking, and of course photography – a gathering that could occur in many places, worldwide.

The wedding drove home the point to me that “Life is a Celebration” and that those who don’t “get it” are selling life short. (Did you ever notice that people who say “Got it. Got it.” a lot in conversations usually don’t “Get it.”? :-) )

More importantly, some of the reunions and rekindling of friendships that occurred this evening will endure long after the evenings festivities are but a warm memory.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo

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