Whether it’s the spitting on a bride ritual in Kenya or the breaking of porcelain in Germany, all over the world there’s much ado about the I Dos
Weddings … aaah!
A time when you heart sings, spirits soar, souls levitate and beauty cloaks everything like Jo Malone’s perfume. The union of two living beings has to be, undoubtedly, one of life’s special moments. The tying of the knot is Cupid’s victory lap, a time when effort and finances put into secret rendezvous, sparking wines, chocolates and bouquet of roses comes to fruition.
This is the case all over the world. No matter how we celebrate or the duration of the celebration, it is a moment of pride and joy for the family, relatives and friends. Celebration takes on various hues as a pair of white doves are set free to roam the sky to signify purity and love. Everyone has heard of ‘something old, something borrowed, something blue and silver sixpence in your shoe’. Everyone has heard of hiding the groom’s shoes by the bride’s friends with a view of extracting monetary favours when the ransom is paid and shoes returned. Party time!
Customs and traditions are an integral part of a wedding ceremony designed to appease the Gods and spirits. Jumping over the handle of a broom to ward off evil spirits is a familiar custom in Kenya. The father of a Masai bride spits on the bride to ward off lurking evil spirits. In Ireland, the bride needs to keep both feet on the floor while dancing in case the evil fairies try to sweep her off her feet. In Germany and Greece the couple break porcelain crockery to keep the dark side away.
Carrying on the family name and procreation go hand in hand. In Czechoslovakia the fertility meter touches the sky when a baby is made to lie on the couple’s bed! The protective relatives of the newlyweds in French Polynesia lie on the ground to form a human rug just so the young ones may walk over them. No doubt the bride would need to remove her high heels to ensure Health and Safety of her guests! Couples in Congo customarily do not smile on their wedding day… no place for a dentist to hand out the visiting card.
It is all documented and done in the name of LOVE.
What is not documented is a mother’s heart. A heart that has loved her child since inception. Her heart stays with her child from the womb and beyond. When her child, as an adult, finds their life partner there are many anxious moments. These bouts of anxiety do not question love or loyalty of the partner. It is also not because the partner is not capable or deserving in any way. It pulls at the heart strings as every mother knows that this is the moment when her child steps into the adult domain. They now make their own decisions and are starting life’s journey on their own. It is a mixed feeling, a blessing tinged with sadness as the young ones spread their wings to fly…. and fly they must! The wheels of life must keep moving and keep in motion to spread the love. The moment of selfish pangs of a mother evaporates and sanity and love prevails.
The cycle of life is a miracle. It is repetitive, everlasting and here to stay for eons. There is sanity and hope in this. The “I Do” rituals of walking around the fire and exchanging rings extends families with stand-in brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers waiting in the wings to pick up when the real brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers cannot walk that journey with the newlyweds. There is a lot to gain.
Weddings are the perfume in a mundane life. When love is in the air memories last a life time.