Sunday, March 27, 2011

Once upon a time......

Before I write anything today, can I just say that THIS IS A HAPPY POST, people. Remember that. Now, where was I...... It was supposed to be early Autumn, but the temperature was soaring towards 30C by early morning. No-one stayed in bed past 6am. There was so much to do. Some of us headed out just after 6 to the hairdresser, and others had tables to sort in the garden, flowers to put out, and thank heavens, sun umbrellas to put up. Great baths of ice were filled round the side of the house to chill the drinks. The gardens were watered, the kitchen was full of people, and there were queues for the bathrooms. The front door stood open, because people came and went and cars arrived, were parked, and carpets vacuumed. The lady with the big cameras arrived and make-up was done and the fact that the hair was not right had to be overlooked. As did Marge's broken glasses. Nails shone, and petticoats were ditched - the heat was overwhelming. It looked beautiful. The house. The people. The flowers. The garden. The tables. Beautiful. And then I slipped into the long white dress with the full circular train, fastened the pearls which had been a 21st birthday present from my parents just 9 months before, the veil was adjusted and the photographer darted about. Then the make-up had to be redone because it melted in the heat. Oh the heat. And the photographer darted some more, and people moved in a kaleidoscope of colour, and little girls in white arrived, and four lovely young women took their place, and picked up their flowers. So many smiles. And the make-up was redone yet again. In small groups they left. The cars bore them away. Until just the people in the kitchen and gardens remained. Except for my Dad. And me. The friend driving the car stood waiting. So we got in, folding that huge train around me, white ribbons flying from the bonnet of the car, my heart pounding. Flowers on my lap. We talked a little on the way there, my Dad and I. He did say, and I remember it clearly, "It is not too late to change your mind, you know...." I grinned at him, and said "Mum would kill us" and he smiled. It was never an option. Colin, driving us, also laughed. And then, there.....outside the church I had grown up attending from a baby to an adult - albeit a very young one, looking back, we arrived. It was time. Standing outside, letting the dress fall into its perfect lines, four of my closest friends adjusting it as I walked slowly to the steps. Dad, right there beside me, strong arm to hold on to, and the music swelling as we got closer. Beautiful music. Blazing sun. Blue skies. The church, so full - people I had known all my life, who I loved dearly and who loved me too, all a part of me. The choir from my school, the minister who had married my parents. Uncle Bob. Walking slowly down the aisle, seeing a sea of faces turned towards me, and thinking, of course I will remember everything. My Mum, my family. And then seeing right at the top of the aisle, the man waiting for me. The smile on his face. I handed my bouquet to my sister, who stood beside me, and so help me, I can hardly remember anything more of the ceremony. It is a blur. That was 35 years ago today. I gather, from friends in Cape Town, that today is the most beautiful of days, much like is was 35 years ago. I do remember the garden back home, filled with over 200 guests - the colour, the laughter, the chatter, the sounds, the food, the pool shimmering in the heat. I remember my train floating out over the pool as I walked along the edge to talk to friends. I know that it was the most beautiful, perfect wedding day anyone could ever have wished for. There was nothing formal about it at all. It was just beautiful. Our wedding day. It is filed away in the depths of my memory for all time now. A golden day. A long time ago...............

9 comments:

Linds said...

So it is up, minus paragraphs. I didn't realise it had published itself earlier and some had read it. So here it is after all.

Becky said...

So very lovely, Linds.

Anne said...

Lovely memories of a lovely day.

Vee said...

You remembered all the truly important things. So beautifully told no matter the paragraphs, which are highly overrated. Happy anniversary, Linds. How glad I am that you honored this special day by sharing your story.

Kelli said...

Happy Anniversary, sweet friend. You have remembered the day beautifully, and I hope that those are the memories that fill and hold your heart today.

I love you and am thinking about you.

Anne said...

Thanks so much for leaving the comment on my blog.

Yes, I've got a number of hellebore seedlings from a friend. They're quite small so won't flower for a couple of years. You also don't know what you're going to get but at least they're free!

Olson Family said...

So lovingly written - tears in the eyes.

Needled Mom said...

It sounds like a perfect day. I remember people saying that you will not remember much of that day. I made a point to try to remember it all, but sadly, I have forgotten so much. The details I wanted to remember are greatly missed. Your post was touching, Linds. Happy anniversary. Your memories will be your comfort.

Dawn said...

Beautiful, Linds. Just beautiful. I would love to see a picture or two!