My nephew Eric married his bride Sasha on yesterday in Keystone, CO.
The scenery was amazing....
It was so much fun to celebrate this event together!
The food was fabulous,
and the cake was a work of art.
I had the unspeakable honor of speaking at the ceremony.
It was difficult to keep my composure in such a breathtaking setting....
Below is what I shared after reading this quote requested by
Eric & Sasha:
by Hilary T. Smith
“People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.”
When Eric and Sasha asked me to say a few words at their wedding today, my first response was, "What an honor!" But, very quickly my thoughts became, "Oh dear, what in the world does one say on such a special day?"
So, I begin reflecting....
Two summers ago, Eric and Sasha traveled in from
to visit the East Coast relatives. It just so happened that the very weekend
that they were slated to be in Pennsylvania with the Hokes was the exact same
weekend that I was hosting an outdoor dinner party to celebrate a significant
milestone in my own life. It was so special
to have them be part of that evening, and as they spent the weekend with me, assisted
with the food prep, and helped serve and cleanup,
I came to know Sasha,
my relationship with Eric transitioned from just a nephew to a peer, a kindred spirit, a friend,
and both Eric and Sasha came to know me in a whole new way.
So, it seemed only fitting that whatever words I spoke today needed to be about food or gardening, or somehow tie back to that magical evening 2 years ago when we dined outdoors under the stars....
Since it was late June, the garlic scapes in my garden were ready for harvest, and as a result, they became a central feature of the dinner party. (Garlic scapes are .... ) They were featured on the menu, they were tucked in the flower arrangements, they were carefully positioned at each person's place setting. I was fairly new to garlic scapes, and really didn't know what to do with them, so I was quite impressed that Eric and Sasha not only knew what garlic scapes were, but that they had also cooked with them before. So, the more I thought about what I was to say today, the more I was convinced I was that I needed to talk about garlic (of all things!!)....
About four years ago a fellow foodie friend gave me 3 bulbs of garlic that she acquired from a local farmer who is well known on the East coast for his varieties of garlic. I was thrilled to have access to some of his special garlic bulbs to plant in my own garden. I saved those precious 3 bulbs, and on a cold day late in the fall I broke apart the bulb, planted each individual clove, and then eagerly anticipated an abundant garlic harvest the following year.
That next summer, when I harvested my garlic crop, I was thrilled to find that each one of those garlic cloves had indeed produced a beautiful bulb of garlic, and I had an ample supply of garlic to use in my cooking, enough to save for the next fall planting, and plenty to share with friends.
That initial gift of garlic, a simple, humble gesture of kindness from a friend, turned out to be the very thing that caused a ripple effect in my gardening world. My friends planted the garlic I gave them, and in turn have shared it with their friends. As a result, we've all been inspired to continue growing and preparing our own food, and to share our love of food, cooking, and gardening with others.
Eric and Sasha, this is YOUR day. This is a very significant turning point in your relationship. In a few minutes, you will make the transition from being just two young people in love to a husband and wife who have committed their lives to each other. Each one of us who is present here has anticipated this day, and has looked forward to celebrating this milestone with you.
BUT, on another hand, this day is so much BIGGER than you!! Just the very fact that your paths crossed, that they crossed with they did, that you fell in love and chose to marry each other is so much bigger than you. And, just like that gift of garlic that I received a number of years ago, the gift of your marriage relationship has the potential to ripple out and impact others - It will change each of you individually in powerful ways, but will also impact your family, your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors, the many people whom you haven't even encountered yet, as well as those that will follow.
So, make the choice to do marriage well! Your marriage will impact people, regardless of whether it's a good marriage or a bad one. So,
Do the hard work.
Call in the reinforcements when necessary.
Ask the tough questions of yourselves.
Be willing to say no to the good things so you can say yes to the better.
Give each other your undivided attention.
Don't ever underestimate the importance of integrity.
Give more than your 50%.
Find something bigger than yourselves to devote your lives to together.
And most importantly, share your daisies with others.
And as a result, you marriage will ripple out and change the world for good.
Eric and Sasha, it is such a privilege to celebrate this day with you. Thank you for inviting me to participate! You have all my love and support.