I hope that everyone had a great three day weekend! Ours was full, in a very good way. Friday we went for a nice walk by the Niagara River. The weather has been very humid the last couple of weeks, and the breeze off the water provided some much needed relief. We freed the kids from the stroller, and let them run out all the pent up energy from recent rainy days. They are all getting so big; this weekend I caught myself looking at them and wondering at the time that has passed so slowly and so quickly. Pregnancies, labors, diapers, sleepless nights, first smiles, first words, first steps. Lots of work, lots of worries, lots of joys, and an incredible sense of life.
|From the top: Great Grandpa celebrating his 85th birthday, the kids enjoying some freedom at the river, a brief peaceful moment with this book, breakfast, and newly painted outdoor furniture (more to come on that later), and finally, a half pic of what I wore to the wedding. It's the same dress I wore here, minus the belt.|
The events of this weekend lent themselves to such meditations. On Saturday, the husband and I attended a Maronite wedding at our parish, the first that I have every witnessed other than my own. The ceremony, known as The Mystery of the Crowning, is very beautiful. In addition to the exchange of vows and the giving of rings, the bride and groom (along with their two witnesses) are crowned with a ring of flowers or some other simple crown. The crowns have various levels of meaning; they represent Christ and His Kingdom, the union of Christ and His Church, the couple's divine vocation, their call to start their own "kingdom" and administer it with the dignity of king and queen, and also that sacrifice will be required in this new state of life.
I am always struck by the richness and poetry of the language and symbol within the liturgy. This time, one line in particular stuck with me. As the priest removes the groom's crown and blesses him, he says, "May your wife be precious in your eyes and be as a column of fire within your home. May you find happiness all the days of your life." Me, a column of fire? Warmth, light, a source of guidance, great power under control, a manifestation of the Divine Presence....
On Sunday, we celebrated the 85th birthday of my husband's grandfather. He was wearing this super cool hat that said Acapulco 83. He told me that each time he and his wife (who passed away a few years ago) took a trip together, he would buy a new hat as a souvenir. Some have disappeared over the years, or gotten worn out and discarded. This very good man confided that the Acapulco hat brought back lots of good memories, and also a twinge or two of regret, as he thought of things he could have done or said differently.
I feel this way often as a parent, amazed at my own selfishness or lack of patience, regretful of it, but seemingly unable to turn things around. Fellow moms, do you feel this way, too? Lay some wisdom on me.
And Labor Day, well, we labored. Around the house. Yard work. Cleaning. Laundry. Inside projects, some of which I'm excited to share with you this week! What did you do?