Even during the pandemic pause, we find ways to continue life. As we remain sheltered in place with our families and loved ones, we surely can get anxious and cranky. The circumstances we are under often leads us to creative options that at least allow us expression and room to grow. In some cases, it is projects – house cleaning, painting, yard work, gardening, or cooking. Online learning and homeschooling have become the norm. We have adopted new ways, new traditions, and rituals.
On May 14, my wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We decided to take the opportunity to renew our vows. Our original wedding took place at the Old School Baptist Meeting House. Through the generosity of the Historical Society we received permission to use the church. There were no guests except for my son, Henry, who was on hand to capture the event on video. In our wedding finery – my wife wore her original beautiful dress and I wore the same vest and bow tie from that day so long ago!
In the evening light, just as 25 years ago, we stood facing each other but this time no pastor, no friends and guests – but a new addition, a son. There is something solemn about an empty church. It is a soulful place, a perfect place to stop a hurried life and to reckon with the past, to be in the moment and to hope for a future.
The vows we read were about our love and gratitude for each other, our sweet courtship, romance, our life, and family. It was an emotional moment. When we finished, we embraced, kissed, and shed tears of joy. The entire reading took a few minutes, but it was as if time stood still. After our little ceremony we climbed the stairs to the steeple room and rang the church bell, that gave us a thrill and laughter, truly celebrating our union.
I share this with you because as we face our human vulnerability it was a good time to check in. Our busy lives can lead to distraction and we easily overlook what matters; a moment set aside, a quiet place shared with someone you love can restore and align life’s compass. Love is a precious thing and grows stronger when it is tended.
If you would like to see the video please go to the Village of Warwick Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VillageofWarwick.