I’d like to say it went off without a hitch, but, truth be known, I choked up (as expected). What could have been three minutes of poetry during my daughter’s (and, of course, her husband’s) wedding seemed like a lifetime, as her life-to-this-point flashed before me. I have been called a romantic, and I won’t deny that it’s true. Her happiness always has been one of my foremost concerns. They have been a couple since high school – more than a third of their lives – but I was overwhelmed by the significance of that moment and the happiness they will share.
Afterwards, the father-daughter dance did go off without a hitch. (I guess the lessons, followed by practice with my wife every night during the month before the trip, paid off.) Our plan was to alter the tempo of a waltz to fit with Billy Joel’s Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel), and it worked. Yes, it was emotional, but I had expended that energy for the reading, and the dance became a moment of delight paired with a song about the lasting bond of a father and his daughter.
At the reception, I was told by many that my reading brought tears to the eyes of some there. I’m sure that my own reaction had something to do with that. Here is that reading:
Celebration of Love
to witness a vow
shared by two
as their love
becomes a celebration
a life together
From an early age, I encouraged Alyssa to have an interest in poetry. What better culmination of that than this poetic moment – the union of love?
Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali musician, artist, and poet, and there is inspiration in much of his writing. He said,
“Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.”
We see the perfect example of freedom in a butterfly. It goes about, fulfilling its life, with not a wasted moment. In fact, Tagore also said,
“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”
That quote inspired me to write a haiku.
between silent beat of wings
If we think of Reed and Alyssa as the butterflies, where do they alight?
It is this moment, here and now.
while dancing on air
paired beating of wings and hearts
butterfly finds mate
I have one other poem I’d like to read.
Consider the banks of a river.
Far from separate
or opposite, they complement
each other as they embrace
the river flowing through them.
That river is life, and within it
there is a current, love, its depth
revealed with each passing moment.
It is that love which brings them here
today, the love that will carry them
through all their tomorrows.
It truly was a celebration.