Yesterday I officiated the wedding of two young friends. It was a themed wedding, done in the Steampunk style, and it was held in the beautiful outdoor setting of Beaver Meadows Resort. As I sat at my table for the reception after, I found myself taking in the wholeness of the event: toasts were made, the bride danced with her grandfather – there was love and hope and community all around. A sappy yet sweet country song spoke of another father giving away his daughter at her wedding. He was happy for her, finding the love that would keep her company through her life, but reminded the groom that he, the father, had loved her first. As a father of a daughter, I understand and appreciate that sentiment. Life is giving and receiving in equal, measured doses.
Sharing the table with me were, among others, some married friends of ours, and their 2 ½ year old son. At the table next to mine there were older members from the families of the bride and groom. It caused me to reflect on the transitions of life, and how so many of them were present in that room. We were gathered to celebrate the transition of the bride and groom into the community of Those Who Are Married. My friends and their young son are at a very different stage in life, yet not so very far removed from our newlyweds. The 2 ½ year old is daily going through significant transitions, with uncountable thresholds yet to cross. And some in that room had weathered so many transitions, and are now enjoying the wisdom and peace that comes with the knowing that there are finite borders left for them to cross. Outside, a magnificent RockyMountain summer day was transitioning into a sweet summer mountain night. Change was all around me.
Today, a long-time friend of mine begins her final transition, as she leaves her home for the last time, and goes to Hospice Inpatient care. She is the same age as me. She is completing her unique journey, too soon some might say, but we all know that life comes with only one guarantee. Life is giving and receiving in equal, measured doses.
I am thankful that I am present enough in these precious, fleeting moments, to appreciate the transitional nature of Be-ing. I am thankful for my beautiful family and my many friends. I am thankful for my spiritual grounding that brings me back into presence, in spite of the distractions and challenges around me. I will endeavor to receive, and I will practice generosity in giving: for Life is giving and receiving in equal, measured doses.