Commentary: Dearly beloved…..

By John Krull
TheStatehouseFile.com 

NOBLESVILLE, Indiana – The world doesn’t end.

Outside, rain falls in warm, heavy drops that land with soft splats on the skin.

John Krull, publisher, TheStatehouseFile.com

John Krull, publisher, TheStatehouseFile.com

Inside, two former students, two friends, two women, beautiful in their white wedding dresses, stand before the minister, nervous and eager to begin their lives as a married couple. They’d come to the altar as a band played John Column by John KrullDenver’s “Annie’s Song:”

You fill up my senses

Like a night in a forest

Like the mountains in springtime

Like a walk in the rain….

Their bridesmaids stand at either side of them. Family members and friends sit at tables, silent except for the sniffles and soft sobs that accompany every wedding.

The minister delivers a short homily about the ways that love is both faith’s gift to us and our most important responsibility to each other as human beings. He speaks of the sacredness of marriage, the miraculous way two lives can blend together to form a braid that strengthens each strand and enriches all lives that touch it.

The brides say their vows, their voices hushed and cracking with love and nervousness. The minister pronounces them married. They kiss. The minister presents them to the crowd for the first time as a married couple.

And the world doesn’t end.

The wedding party leaves for a moment, as they do at all weddings, to take photos. The friends and family in attendance sip wine, beer, soft drinks and water as they catch up on each other’s lives and share stories about the newly married couple.

The large room buzzes with the sounds of laughter and chatter.

The wedding party returns.

The toasts begin.

More laughs.

More tears.

And hugs.

Lots of hugs.

The brides have their first dance as a married couple. They move over the dance floor in each other’s arms, their eyes locked on each other, smiling and crying at the same time.

And the world doesn’t end.

The brides dance, in turn, with their fathers. The fathers look at their daughters as fathers always have looked at their daughters at weddings for ages, their gazes a mix of love and sadness and joy and puzzlement as they try to determine when the little girl they knew departed and this strong woman with whom they now dance emerged.

Then it is time for the family and friends to dance.

Everyone rushes to the dance floor, eager to share in and celebrate the happy couple’s joy.

Old people dance together.

Young people dance together.

Straight people dance together.

Gay people dance together.

And the world doesn’t end.

The song is a wedding perennial, Etta James’ aching “At Last.” The song speaks to the urge that compels people to marry, the hunger we – young, old, gay, straight – have to find the other bookend for our stories, the complement that makes our lives seem more whole.

Now my lonely days are gone, Etta sings.

I dance with my wife of nearly 20 years and think how much more meager my existence would have been if we had not married, if we had not had children, if we had not fallen in love and entwined our lives into one.

Etta sings:

You smiled, you smiled oh and then the spell was cast

And here we are in Heaven

For you are mine at last.

I look around the room at all the people who have come to this wedding. Former students, friends, colleagues gather to celebrate this union, to wrap themselves in joy because two people who belong together have found each other.

And I look over at the brides, their white dresses still pristine despite the rain and the dancing. The days before them will bring some heartache and hardship, as days do to everyone who walks the earth, but sorrows will be more bearable because they will be faced together.

And pleasures will be so much greater because they can be shared.

The brides have their arms around each other as they greet friends and family.

They laugh, two young women in love who have just pledged themselves to each other for eternity.

They have begun a new life.

Together.

And the world doesn’t end.

John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism, host of “No Limits” WFYI 90.1 Indianapolis and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Share This Post