My Mom got married on Saturday, to a wonderful man who makes her really happy. The wedding was great, they were married at a lake northeast of where we live, the actual wedding was in a meadow, framed on one side by trees and the other side by a lake and tree covered mountains. There was no civilization to be seen, just a group of family in friends and they said their vows and brought our families together. It was perfect. The reception was in an amazing group picnic shelter there with a big fire pit in the center, and a kitchen area with a stove and sink. Wine and beer and amazing food were had, the cake was cut, producing my favorite photo from the entire day, and the guests began to dwindle.
At 11:00 when we had to be out of the shelter, we headed to a smaller shelter with a fireplace and picnic table just across the dirt road from the cabins we were staying in, and down the road from where other guests were camping. We lit the fire, and there were eight of us just chatting, including my Mom and her new husband, and my sister and her boyfriend. He broke out his guitar and played and sang. Then he handed the guitar over to my Mom.
She sang a couple of songs, "Wildflowers" and another one. Listening to my Mom play the guitar and sing is an almost perfect experience for me. She has a truly amazing, beautiful voice and it takes me back to my childhood, listening to her play her guitar and sing. I thought she was amazing then, but over the years her singing has gotten even better after being part of a chorus for the last several years and practicing. I was feeling so peaceful, and could feel tears of emotion prickling at the back of my eyelids as I listened and felt the warmth of the fire in the middle of a dark night after a day of celebration.
"She got it from her captain when he sailed around the horn, bringing gifts from China to their Oklahoma home..." As soon as I heard the first chords, the first lyrics, sung by my newlywed mother, the tears began to flow. I sat with my eyes closed, swaying, feeling the warmth of the fire, feeling so peaceful as the tears ran in warm, salty rivulets down my cheeks. I wasn't sad, I wasn't happy, I was peaceful. So full of emotion from the day, happiness for my Mom and my new family, feeling content. Then I felt it. My sister, two years younger, sitting next to me snaked her arms around me and laid her head on my shoulder. I put my hand on her arm and leaned my head against hers and after a moment I could hear that she was crying too. We sat that way, emotions melding, in the perfect bond of our relationship with each other and with our Mom, until the music stopped.
Later, when saying goodbye to my Mom as she went to go to bed and get up at 5 AM to make the flight to a 2 week trip to Costa Rica (wish I was there!), I asked if she'd seen us. She said she hadn't, but her new husband had and it had brought tears to his eyes... A sweet end to a sweet and wonderful day.
* The song my Mom was singing was "In China or a Woman's Heart" by Kate Wolf.