And a Tiny Burst of Joy

Yesterday, I wrote about the tiny, noticed, death of a dove. Today, I am doing something I love to do and hardly ever write about–I’m an ordained celebrant and I’m celebrating a wedding.

Devil's Bridge--the destination of a rocky hike in Sedona, AZ

Weddings are expressions of hope and courage. We give up being just ourselves, and look to another as part of our lives. There is one paragraph in the service I particularly love:

“Remember that your relationship itself has a destiny, that your marriage is alive and needs care and feeding and support. Keep it young and fresh by bringing yourself fresh to your marriage over and over again.”

That’s a hard task–to keep yourself fresh and bring yourself fresh to someone you know well, and may not see in the same rosy glow as you did a few years ago. It’s the real challenge of a marriage–to create a fresh day and another chance.

This is the view the bride and groom saw at their ceremony.

Best of all, to perform this ceremony, I’ll have to hike up into the Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona, to a small and secluded spot about a mile from the trailhead. Hiking into a marriage, hiking out again. It’s such a rich metaphor.

The bride and groom, in their natural chapel, grounded and happy. The couple is Tonia and David Jenny, and I have permission to use their names. Tonia is the editor of my first book, Raw Art Journaling.

Of all the things I do—write, develop and run communication courses, create and teach journaling classes, coach clients in life changes and creativity—officiating at ceremonies feels most like a combination of all the others. It’s full of creation and energy and imagination, love and powerful growth.

Natural chapel walls in the Red Rocks of Sedona.

The wedding involved a car ride, a jeep ride, and a hike. After the ceremony, we hiked back down the mile-long trail, enchanted at every corner by another breath-taking view.

I wish for Tonia and David the same trek through life–sometimes uphill, sometimes down, but always with a breathtaking realization that ther is something bigger in their view to focus on.

--Quinn McDonald is a celebrant of weddings, a creator of rituals, and a participant in the sacred moments of other people’s lives.

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8 responses to “And a Tiny Burst of Joy

  1. Congratulations and blessings to the newly weds! :) Beatiful setting for a wedding.
    About new chances: the first quarter of 2012 was not as brilliant as I expected it to be, so we´ve declared May 1st as New Year´s Day and starting over. :D

  2. What a gorgeous site for the ceremony! I love that sentiment of bringing yourself fresh to your marriage over and over again…it’s a big task, but it is what keeps things interesting!

    • It’s hard to bring yourself fresh to marriage. It’s much easier to demand that the other person do the work. The wise man who presided at my wedding said, “it’s not 50 / 50. Each person must contribute 90 percent to the marriage.” And that’s true.

  3. What a wonderful burst of joy! We experience the lows (and deaths) in life so we know the highs (and life’s best) — right?

  4. Several years ago we had the honor of sharing that first step with two of our good friends, with Cathedral Rock in the background. This October we are returning with them to celebrate the life they have built together. Thank you for touching that memory.

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