Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Peonies and Memory

I am beauty; I am romance; I am tradition.  I am a peony and I hold both fragrance and meaning.
Today I grace the table in honor of a wedding, but I stand for so much more. I am a peony, and I measure the years, spring by spring, because I am perennial in the richest sense of the word: I am hardy, forgiving of the vagaries of all the winters before and the summers to follow. I came with the great grandmothers in the back of wagons and I will be there for the great grand children to bury their noses in, to cut with scissors, brush off the ants, and bring indoors to their mommas.
Tradition. It's another word for memory. We put out our grandmother's china, our mother's silver, and spread the crocheted lace tablecloth to welcome the wedding party and new bride...and to fondly set a place at table in our mind for those present only in memory.  In this way we knit together the gracious past, the joyful present, the future full of hope.
This old house puts on its best, calling its scars experience, its wear patina, and naming the clamor, the laughter, the creaks and groans of floors and stairs under the thunder of young feet human happiness. After photos, that bulwark against forgetfulness, three generations of women of one family send three generations of wedding party off into the April showers, then bundle up leftovers and the little children of generation four. Tradition has been honored; memories of the past have been resurrected. The day is recorded for posterity into the pages of family lore.

Yes, mawwaige indeed brings us together today, but it's not just for the wedding. An entire churchful will probably include a multitude of degrees of association. More photos capturing the event for the perusal of goodness knows who in the future.
Exhibit A is my grandparents' wedding picture: the somber dark headed best man next to my fair haired grandpa is none other than Ryan's grandfather, Rufus Harms. That's God giving us all something to smile about generations later.

Tarkio's Community Building is Cinderella yet again, wearing an brand new crop of tattooed holes in its ceiling. The little kids cannot contain their exuberance; abetted by sugar, they become dervishes of tulle, oblivious to the disc jockey, they whirl to their own personal music of the night.
And speaking of memory...and old times?
This week we'll celebrate Blake's birthday, together, as we have now for more than half our lives. I remember well worrying myself silly trying to choose the right birthday present for the guy I'd been dating for just a few months, wanting the gift to be personal, but not too....thoughtful, and something he'd like...and not really having a clue what that would be....and not too expensive, because I didn't have much cash. I finally decided on some paperback versions of Hemingway novels...I know, I know! I plead guilty to being young...and earnest....and hoping fervently to impress....
 We left home when we were barely past eleven-teen
Been back and forth and all around through hell and rain
I've loved you half of your life and I'll keep on loving you
Merle Haggard

No Merle this year, but there will be music: some Sinatra, familiar, but still surprising, a bit road weary, but with a lot of mileage left....like the birthday guy himself.

Just one more reason to celebrate the ties that bind and bring us together!

1 comment:

  1. Love these photos - and the Princess Bride quote - classic! Thanks for stopping by and linking up with the Country Fair Blog Party!