The Gypsy in Us ALL

(published in a slightly different form in Montana Woman magazine)

Wedding – the Caravans Conjoin

When my friends Rozetta and Brendan take their vows later this month, we will be there. Rozetta (Rose ) has the knack of being a part of things, a talent that enriches all of us. She listens carefully, and learns from multiple women, and remembers much that is said, even when mentioned off-handedly. I have known her since she was a mostly a girl, beginning her own tentative steps into the spiders web of woman-ship. We community women have all claimed a piece of nurturing her, and now are participating in another forward step toward fullness.

Soon she will return to the scene, her home state, walking into the embraces of trusted and loved elders, sisters, friends, taking her place in the tapestry that exists among us; but this time as a married woman, a woman ready to stand on her own solid size 6 feet, and begin a different life.

We will witness this commitment, struck silent by the scope of that promise, yet energized more by the hope of its fulfillment.

We will be applauding in the pews; some tears will no doubt be shed, since we all know the unpredictability of life; even with the warm hopes for a rosy and unendingly happy future. She will be launched into a new sort of dedication; and we will do our part to honor and to support, each in our distinct way.

In many ways she is the child of multiple hearts, like the neighborhood cat, owned by all and no one, and loved by many on a consistent basis. She always had the knack of being both dependent and independent, in equal measure. Rose is a strong girl, with that quiet persistence often possessed by those who labor steadfast, without the brighter spotlight.

This wedding is akin to so many marriage ceremonies and their festivities that follow; the celebrations of disparate camps conjoined. Occasionally, it is the Montagues and the Capulets, swords drawn around their progeny, their own avatars in the ancient struggle against forgiveness and the forces of passion. Other times, it occasions the high art of romantic comedy, ala Mr. Darcy and the Bennett family, societal intrigue and contrast.

Most marriage, however, represents a community in celebration of itself, acknowledging something that is intrinsically good, regardless of and separate from what the future brings as events unfold. Acknowledgment perhaps as well, that no matter how screwed up we get individually; we all view this as a beacon of hope and renewal at a larger level.

The wagons are circled around the promise of the future; within which we each have ownership investments in the outcome. Musicians play with abandon; violins soar, the songs are sung, the stories are told and re-told until we all share memories; our history made true by later repetition, if not by strict fact. Tolerance is a song in itself, often played off-key.

There is room at the table for joyous hope, and there is room at the table for error as well. We all know that, and yet, we turn our faces to seek the sunshine, enjoying the bright and shining faith that tomorrow will indeed be better than today, that this time, the final chapters will be written with a happy ending. How could it be otherwise, we say. It is hope that lights the way, not intellect. It is hope that we have to give. We are all gypsies in our hearts, ribbons flying, fiddlers playing, and dancing into the night together to acknowledge the success of improbable promise snatched from the abyss.