Sunday, November 07, 2010
Philosophy When There's Two Weeks to Go
I come from a long line of talented hostesses. Many are the women in my family tree who not only have had excellent skills and aptitudes when it comes to making a lovely welcoming experience, but also enjoy the process and pull it off happily. I have long enjoyed and appreciated their gifts. I also realize that for some reason those gifts skipped me. Certainly I can clean the house and cook good food and make people feel welcome, but the flower arranging, color coordinating, display and elegance gifts have consistently eluded me. I am like the appreciative member of the audience at the opera, fully amazed and happy about the performance, and totally unable to sing like that. That's fine. Not all of us need to be opera singers or fabulous hostesses. However there are times when it would be helpful to be one or the other.
So, now, as I embark on the final preparations for my lovely daughter's wedding reception, I am appreciative of the help offered by my talented female relatives, conscientiously giving it my very best effort, and fully aware that my efforts and my results will not be opera star quality. In this situation I have found the following guidelines and insights helpful.
The first is a couple of sentences in a piece on courtship and marriage for parents of young people that I saved years ago. I don't know the author. "Ideally courtship leads to a wedding...The reception following should be moderate and dignified."
Moderate and dignified. I think we can do that.
The other is from a syndicated article that appeared in our local newspaper. The author is Donna Milligan Meadows, and she wrote about illusion and beauty. One of the things she wrote about was the struggle she had as she tried to make her backyard garden a lovely setting for her daughter's upcoming wedding, and the concern she felt about the setbacks of torrential rains and flourishing weeds in the weeks leading up to the celebration. She wrote:
"As I was kneeling in mud trying to pull a few obvious weeds, a tree branch brushed caressingly across my shoulder like the soft touch of a tender hand and in the quiet breeze I heard [my friend's] gentle voice from the past saying, 'Donna, it's all an illusion. The details don't matter.' Again, I knew she was right. I looked around and saw that not only had the weeds flourished in the constant downpours, so had the flowers; they were luxurious. The plants and what grass remained green looked emerald and sparkled in the sunlight.
the illusion of my yard was a place of peace and tranquility. Once my daughter walked into view in her elegant, snow-white dress, with the glow of love in her eyes, no one would notice the weeds or the brown spots in the grass. This outdoor setting was just a fragrant backdrop for an unforgettable event."
So, modest, dignified, fragrant backdrop, here we come. As much as I might wish I could make it so, it won't be sophisticated or fabulous, but it will be fine and it will be good and we'll enjoy the process.