The birds were chirping in the late afternoon sun. The strong scent of spring was breezing by gently. A young couple stood before me in front of my home and prepared to take a sacred vow of love and companionship, to stand by one another and provide for one another - in sickness and in health - for as long as they both shall live.
Our ceremony of three was witnessed by the creatures of my garden and by a family playing games in their yard just down the street. Marriage in the time of Coronavirus allows for no other witness. As we safely maintain distance from one another, from young to old, and from family to friend we re-invent our norms, our customs, and ourselves to protect one another.
Why not wait to wed until we can reunite together? Sometimes circumstances compel us to press on.
Indeed as those in the immigration world know, for many immigration benefits a marriage must be completed within a certain time period or one may need to depart the country and face months or years apart from their loved one before being reunited again.
Marriage in the time of Coronavirus is no easy task. Simply obtaining a marriage license is tough as our public institution are shuttered, and finding someone that can perform the ceremony is down right improbable - but not impossible!
So while storm clouds are brewing on the distant horizons, pockets of sunshine can and should be cherished right above us, and we should not be afraid to have a little fun and live our lives. Giving to and supporting others, wearing a smile bravely across our face, embracing love - these are critical to our well being at all times.
And so I found myself yesterday on my own front lawn performing the sacred ritual of marriage to ensure a young couple would live their lives together.
I wore my favorite outdoor farmer hat for our festivities, and warned them upfront that my sermon might not be quite what they'd heard before. And when I asked those assembled to speak now if any thought this couple should not be wed, I winked at the couple and peered briefly into a near by bush to verify that no lurking being was present that opposed their nuptials.
It brought a strong ray of joy to me to be a part of their marriage that I will cherish during these extraordinary times, and I hope I've provided them at the very least a fun story to tell their grandchildren about one day. A story of our unique ceremony witnessed solely by my garden.
Carl Sagan said it best, "The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth. We should remain grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. The sum of all our evolution, our thinking and our accomplishments is love. A marriage makes two fractional lives a whole. It gives to two questioning natures a renewed reason for living. It brings a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, and a new mystery to life."