Over the weekend, Sophie and Jakob got married. It was a beautiful day in every respect, blessed with glorious weather, many loved ones, a happy couple, and a calm in my heart that steered me through the entire experience and gave me hope for the life my daughter and her new husband will build together.
I have many thoughts floating through my head lately, but one in particular stays with me: in the months leading up to the wedding, I was deeply touched by family and friends who reached out, sometimes for no particular reason, with gestures of love and support. There have been childhood friends who seemingly came out of nowhere to say hello and renew old ties, a sister who always found time for my phone calls and left her five little ones in Chicago to help me arrange wedding flowers and be more competent than I could have possibly managed on my own, a brother who set up tables and lanterns in the heat of the day, friends who came together to host a beautiful bridal shower for Sophie, the love and effort evident in that evening like a warm embrace, a friend who stepped in to save me from myself and said: "let me make the cake," and notes, thoughts, hugs, offers to help, and words of encouragement from many others.
If you want to know why I felt so peaceful on Sophie's wedding day, these gestures were a big part of the reason. I generally think of peace as something I must make an effort to attain through my thoughts and actions, my treatment of others, but this year has been an ongoing tutorial that sometimes peace is a gift, given generously and without deserving, that comes through the kindness of others and leaves a lasting impression the source is higher, still.
Someone once told me the only true adventure is love, and I'm inclined to agree. To my daughter and her husband as they set off on their new life together: I wish them every form and facet of this adventure, every drop of its power. With it, they'll be able to face whatever comes and see the beauty of almost every moment (though possibly not in the moment), and that thought brings me a great deal of peace, too.